TV Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Scandal’ hit new highs, while CBS leads Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 10, 2012.
“The Big Bang Theory” continued its winter juggernaut, hitting series highs both overall and among young viewers for the second straight week and leading CBS to a dominant Thursday night.
While CBS had the best news on Thursday, it wasn’t the on;y network with good news, as “Scandal” delivered yet another series high to ABC in its winter return.
NBC tried to spin unimpressive “1600 Penn” premiere numbers with minimal success, while The CW got OK numbers for the 18th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards.
For the night, CBS averaged a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49, far ahead of the 2.4 rating for ABC in the key demographic. NBC was third with a 1.5 rating, while FOX’s 0.9 key demo rating and the 0.6 key demo rating for The CW followed.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 14.65 million viewers and a 9.0 rating/14 share for Thursday night. ABC was far back in second with a 5.1/8 and 7.79 million viewers, still well ahead of the 3.94 million viewers and 2.6/4 for NBC. FOX averaged a 1.73 and 2.66 million viewers, while The CW averaged 1.925 million viewers and a 1.4/2.
8 p.m. – “The Big Bang Theory” set series records with 19.76 million viewers and a 6.3 rating among adults 18-49, but despite the rising lead-in, “Two and a Half Men” slipped to 14.34 million viewers and a 4.2 key demo rating. [Note that “American Idol” is almost certain to end the streak of series highs for “Big Bang Theory” next week, though it’s hard to imagine the FOX talent show beating CBS’ comedy this season.] ABC’s “Last Resort” was far back in second with 5.79 million viewers and tied for third with a 1.2 key demo rating. NBC was third overall and second in the key demo with a new “30 Rock” (3.77 million and a 1.4 key demo) and a “1600 Penn” encore (3.94 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo). FOX’s “Mobbed” averaged 3.28 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating. The CW’s awards telecast averaged 1.92 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo.
9 p.m. – “Person of Interest” down a hair from last week, but still ruled the 9 p.m. hour with 15.56 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” returned solid with 9.22 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo rating. There was a big drop to NBC’s “The Office” (4.53 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo) and the time period premiere of “1600 Penn” (3.85 million and a 1.6 key demo). FOX’s repeat of “Glee” averaged 20.3 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo, nipping the 1.93 million viewers and 0.6 key demo for The CW’s awards show.
10 p.m. – “Elementary” led the 10 p.m. hour with 11.33 million viewers and finished second with a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. ABC’s “Scandal” hit yet another series high with 8.37 million viewers and ruled the hour with a 2.8 key demo rating. On NBC, “Rock Center” averaged 3.77 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.