CBS Comedies Topple ‘American Idol’ on Thursday

'Big Bang Theory' rolls, 'Two and a Half Men' beats Fox music contest in demo for first time

The Big Bang Theory

CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” has been beating Fox’s “American Idol” head to head on Thursdays regularly this season, and this week skedmate “Two and a Half Men” achieved the feat as well for the first time.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged a huge 5.4 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 17.4 million viewers overall to crush “American Idol” (3.0 demo score in the half-hour) and stand as easily Thursday’s No. 1 show. “Bang” was followed by “Two and a Half Men” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall), which beat “Idol” in 18-49 (3.9 to 3.5) and was Thursday’s  No. 2 program in 18-49 and 25-54 (5.2/13).

Both comedies were in line with their most recent originals of two weeks ago.

“Person of Interest” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 14.4 million viewers overall) was on the low side of its range, perhaps dented by the expanded “American Idol,” but still won its 9 p.m. hour in adults 25-54 (4.1/10) and total viewers. And a repeat “Elementary” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) closed out the night.

At Fox, an expanded “American Idol” averaged a 3.5/10 in 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers overall from 8 to 9:30 p.m., peaking with a 3.9/11 in the 9 o’clock half-hour, which it won across the board; the music contest was down a little from last Thursday. “Glee,” which aired from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m., perked up to a timeslot-leading 2.5/7 in 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers overall with its first original episode in three weeks. Its most recent firstrun episode did a low 1.7 in the demo on Valentine’s Day.

NBC had good news kicking off the night, with “Community” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) spiking 25% (0.3) week to week and tying Fox’s “Idol” in men 18-34 (1.7/6). The rest of Thursday was uneventful, though, with repeats of “Parks and Recreation” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), an original “1600 Penn” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) and an encore “Law & Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall). New drama “Hannibal” takes over the 10 p.m. slot on April 4.

ABC aired all repeats, with a special “Shark Tank” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Scandal” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall).

And CW went with rebroadcasts of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and “Beauty and the Beast” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.1/9; CBS, 3.0/9; ABC and NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.3/1.
In total viewers: CBS, 12.9 million; Fox, 10.6 million; ABC, 3.9 million; NBC, 3.0 million; CW, 0.9 million.