TV Ratings: ‘Mentalist,’ ‘X Factor’ drive CBS, FOX Thursday split

Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 6, 2011.

It was another steady night for FOX’s “The X Factor,” which continues to slip at such a slow rate the network is unlikely to care, especially when it keeps delivering Thursday wins among young viewers. While FOX maintained its comfortable grip on the key demo, CBS still won the night overall, though “How To Be a Gentleman” may not be long for its cushy time slot.
Also living on borrowed time is ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels,” which looks like a strong candidate to be the season’s next casualty after another big drop.  Then again, it was another night when declines were nearly across-the-board, leading us to blame baseball playoffs or whatever it is we usually blame.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 3.7 rating for a convincing win in the key demographic. CBD finished second with a 2.9 rating, while ABC’s 2.1 rating and the 1.9 rating for NBC followed. The CW averaged a 1.0 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, though, it was CBS coming out on top with an estimated 11.69 million viewers in primetime along with a 7.4 rating/11 share. FOX’s 7.0/11  and 11.205 million viewers finished a close second, far ahead of the 4.9/7 and 6.88 million viewers for third place ABC. NBC averaged a 3.1/5 and 4.66 million viewers, while The CW’s 1.6/2 and 2.26 million viewers trailed.
[For the night, Univision averaged 3.34 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.]
8 p.m. – CBS started primetime in first overall with “The Big Bang Theory” (13.63 million viewers and a 4.4 key demo rating) and then a large drop to “How To Be a Gentleman” (7.82 million and a 2.5 key demo rating). FOX’s “The X Factor” averaged 10.59 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49, easily winning the 8:30 half-hour. “Charlie’s Angels” averaged 5.93 million viewers for third overall and a 1.2 key demo rating to tie for fourth. NBC’s “Community” (3.37 million and a 1.5 key demo rating) and “Parks and Recreation” (4.13 million and a 1.9 key demo rating) struggled through a tough week. The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 2.55 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating in fifth.
9 p.m. – FOX moved into first for the 9 p.m. hour with 11.82 million viewers and a 4.1 key demo rating for “The X Factor.” CBS’ “Person of Interest” was second overall with 11.46 million viewers and fourth with a 2.5 key demo rating. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” suffered big declines to 8.5 million viewers and a 3.0 key demo rating. NBC’s “The Office” (5.71 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo) and “Whitney” (4.88 million and a 2.3 key demo) were also down, with the newly picked up “Whitney” looking extra-wobbly. The CW’s “The Secret Circle” averaged 1.96 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.
10 p.m. – CBS won the 10 p.m. hour with one of the few shows to rise week-to-week, as “The Mentalist” averaged 12.89 million viewers and a 2.7 key demo rating. It was a big drop for ABC’s “Private Practice” in second with 6.21 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating. While NBC’s “Prime Suspect” was down to 4.93 million viewers, it was flat with a 1.5 key demo rating, which isn’t good, but suddenly seems less bad.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.