TV Ratings: ‘Big Bang’ leads Thursday while ‘Idol’ and ‘Scandal’ dip

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 6, 2014.

With “The Big Bang Theory” leading the way in all measures, everything in CBS' schedule was up on Thursday other than “The Crazy Ones,” as the network ruled the night in all measures.

FOX's “American Idol” didn't take a big drop, but it was down slightly, failing to even make things competitive with “The Millers” (“Big Bang Theory” has had a massive advantage for a while) and again leading into a weak week for “Rake,” which is being shipped off to Fridays.

After last week's big returns, both “Grey's Anatomy” and “Scandal” took big drops for ABC, but still easily won their hours in young viewers. It didn't help that “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” barely made a ripple in its return.

Speaking of barely making a ripple, other than a solid bump for “Parks and Recreation,” NBC's whole lineup barely made a ripple.

Finally, The CW's two dramas both rose, with “Reign” approaching series highs in young female demos.

On to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.7 rating for Thursday night, far ahead of ABC's 2.1 rating in the key demographic. FOX was third with a 1.5 key demo rating, followed by NBC's 1.1 key demo rating. The CW did a 0.8 rating in the key demo for the night.

Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 10.69 million viewers and a 6.6 rating/11 share for Thursday primetime, dominating the evening. FOX's 6.64 million viewers and 4.2/7 and ABC's 4.6/8 and 6.58 million viewers followed. NBC was fourth with 3.23 million viewers and a  2.1/3, beating the 1.3/2 and 1.97 million viewers for The CW.

8 p.m. – CBS ruled the 8 p.m. hour with week-to-week bumps for “The Big Bang Theory” (17.91 million and a 5.2 key demo) and “The Millers” (11.78 million and a 3.0 key demo rating). FOX's “American Idol” was second with 9.71 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” finished third with 3.14 million viewers, but fifth with a 0.8 key demo rating. NBC's “Community” (2.79 million and a 1.0 key demo) and “Parks and Recreation” (2.89 million and a 1.2 key demo) followed, holding off the 2.18 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for The CW's “The Vampire Diaries.”

9 p.m. – The time period switch has paid dividends for “Two and a Half Men” (10.45 million and a 2.7 key demo), but not for “The Crazy Ones” (7.06 million and a 1.7 key demo), as CBS won the 9 p.m. hour overall and finished second among adults 18-49. ABC's “Grey's Anatomy” won the hour with a 2.6 key demo rating and finished second with 8.17 million viewers. FOX's “Rake” was third overall with 3.58 million viewers and fourth with a 0.8 key demo rating. [FOX can take some solace in the fact that “Rake” has only a small demo drop — slightly larger overall — at the half-hour, so the “Idol” lead-in isn't hugely inflating these lame numbers.] NBC's “Hollywood Game Night” was fourth overall with 3.33 million viewers and third with a 1.1 key demo rating. The CW's “Reign” averaged 1.765 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – “Elementary” moved back into first overall in the 10 p.m. hour with 8.47 million viewers, but finished second with a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. ABC's “Scandal” was a close second with 8.43 million viewers and ruled with a 2.8 key demo rating. NBC's “Parenthood” got a small bump from last week with 3.8 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating.

[UPDATE: Some minor variation in Final Live+Same Day numbers. “Big Bang Theory” went up to a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49, while “Elementary” ticked up to a 1.8 key demo rating, but “The Millers” (2.9) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.6) both ticked down. “Parks and Recreation” rose to a 1.3 key demo rating and ABC's “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” rose to a 0.9 key demo rating. I believe that's it for the shifting.]

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.