Big Bang Theory is putting the Thursday competition on notice. In a warm-up round leading to the comedy’s official move to the Thursday 8 PM slot next week, CBS aired a 2-hour marathon of Big Bang repeats from 8-10 PM. Each of of the 4 episodes dominated its half-hour by a wide margin, both in adults 18-49 and total viewers (the comedy peaked at 2.6/8 in the demo and 8.3 million viewers between 9-10 PM). Big Bang‘s competition included repeats of ABC’s reality series Wipeout, which came the closest at 8 PM with a 2.0/7, 6.5 million, and of NBC’s flagship comedy The Office (1.2/4 from 8-9 PM). Most impressively, it also included the first hour of the season premiere of NBC’s The Apprentice, which dived in its return to Thursdays. For its two-hour debut, the competition starring Donald Trump averaged a 1.5/5 in 18-49 and 4.67 million viewers – the franchise’s lowest-rated opener ever. It was down 53% from last season’s celebrity edition premiere in March and, at 10 PM, it was down 44% from the Thursday premiere of The Jay Leno Show the same week last year.
In week 2, CW’s Vampire Diaries (3 million viewers) and new entry Nikita (3.4 million) showed modest declines, 10% and 6% in total viewers, respectively. However, the series faced lighter competition than last week when NBC had the monster NFL kick-off game. The real test comes next week when the Big 4 will be all in originals. CBS easily won the night with all-repeats among 18-49 (2.2/7) and total viewers (7.9 million). Fox and ABC also ran wall-to-wall reruns.