TV Ratings: ‘The Millers’ thumps ‘Idol,’ ‘Men’ rises and ‘Scandal’ returns strong on Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 27, 2014.

With “Big Bang Theory” leading the way, CBS dominated the start of Thursday primetime and then held on for a narrow win in young viewers over ABC, which got strong returns from long-absent “Grey's Anatomy” and “Scandal.”

CBS had an easier time winning overall, where the network got a boost from “Two and a Half Men,” which rose in its new 9 p.m. time period. Somewhat encouragingly for “The Crazy Ones,” the shift to 9:30 didn't have a negative impact.

Over on FOX “American Idol” was no match for “Big Bang Theory,” which isn't surprising, but it also lost to “The Millers” both overall and in the key demo, which isn't so pretty. “Idol” still rose slightly overall over last week (but dipped a tiny bit in the key demo). With the return of “Grey's Anatomy” and CBS' boosted 9 p.m. hour, however, “Rake” plummeted to dismal series lows.

Also doing weak numbers on Thursday were NBC's “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.” In its time period premiere, “Hollywood Game Night” failed to provide any sort of meaningful improvement in the 9 p.m. hour, which isn't to say that there wasn't some improvement over “Sean Saves the World” and “Michael J. Fox,” but that minor uptick didn't benefit “Parenthood” at all.

And, finally, “Vampire Diaries” also suffered from the sea of competition and drew under 2 million viewers for the night, not that anybody is concerned.

On to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.5 rating for Thursday night, nipping the 2.4 rating for ABC in the key demographic. FOX was well back in third with a 1.5 key demo rating, followed by NBC's 1.1 key demo rating. The CW averaged a 0.7 key demo rating for the night.

Overall, CBS had an easier time of it, averaging 10.54 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/11 share for Thursday primetime, topping the 7.76 million viewers and 5.3/9 for ABC. FOX was third with 6.63 million viewers and a 4.1/6, staying far in front of NBC's 3.16 million viewers and 2.1/3. The CW averaged 1.63 million viewers and a 1.1/2.

8 p.m. – CBS started primetime in first with “The Big Bang Theory” (17.5 million and a 4.9 key demo) and “The Millers” (11.24 million and a 2.8 key demo rating). FOX's “American Idol” was second with 9.81 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49, but even with a bump in the 8:30 half-hour, “Idol” was still nearly a million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating behind “The Millers.” ABC's “Countdown to the Oscars” drew an unenthusiastic 4.69 million viewers and did a 1.0 key demo rating, compared to NBC's “Community” (2.625 million and a 1.0 key demo) and “Parks and Recreation” (2.46 million and a 1.0 key demo). The CW's “The Vampire Diaries” was close behind with 1.945 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, tying with the NBC comedies among adults 18-34 and beating ABC's Oscars thing.

9 p.m. – ABC moved into first in the 9 p.m. hour with 9.31 million viewers and a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 for the return of “Grey's Anatomy.” CBS was second with “Two and a Half Men” (10.05 million and a 2.5 key demo) and “The Crazy Ones” (7.42 million and a 1.9 key demo). FOX's “Rake” drew 3.45 million viewers and did a 0.8 key demo rating, compared to the 3.39 million viewers and 1.2 key demo rating for “Hollywood Game Night” on NBC. The CW's “Reign” averaged 1.31 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – “Scandal” won the 10 p.m. hour for ABC with 9.27 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' “Elementary” averaged 8.53 million viewers, but only a 1.6 key demo rating. NBC's “Parenthood” averaged 3.55 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.