With leading lady Kaley Cuoco back from her injury break and fan favorite Eliza Dushku as guest star, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.6/14, 13.9 million) rose 12% from last week’s fast national demo delivery. (The hit comedy always adds another tenth in the finals.) Freshman $#*! My Dad Says (3.4/10, 10.9 million) was also up, by 10%, with both comedies posting their best demo and total viewer deliveries since the premiere and easily winning the 8PM hour. Big Bang maintained its status as the top program on Thursday night among adults 18-49 despite a challenge from a resurgent Grey’s Anatomy. The rating gains didn’t carry over to CBS’ dramas as they faced stiffer competition from ABC’s medical drama lineup. CSI (3.3/9, 13.9 million) was flat with last week, while The Mentalist (2.9/8, 14.3 million) was down 9% to tie its 18-49 season low. CBS still won the night in 18-49 (3.4/10) and total viewers (13.5 million).
Despite a weaker lead-in, a Grey’s Anatomy repeat (1.2/3) vs. the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special (2.2/6) last week, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (4.3/11) at 9 PM was up 10% from last week. With a heavily promoted episode that dealt with the sexual assault of one of the show’s primary characters, Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland), Private Practice (3.9/11) was up 44%. Both ABC dramas dominated their time slots in the demo.
It was a seesaw performance for NBC’s Thursday comedies. With no lead-in and no Halloween theme, NBC’s Community (1.9/6) was down 21% from last week when it aired at 8:30 PM behind a Shrek special (2.6/8). At 8:30 PM, 30 Rock (2.4/7) was up 9% from its last original 2 weeks ago, The Office (3.7/10) was down 5% from its fast national and Outsourced (2.7/7) was flat. (The Office was adjusted up by a tenth in the finals last week as it normally does.) At 10 PM, The Apprentice (1.4/4) also held steady.
Fox’s dramas didn’t show a lot of rust after a three-week hiatus over baseball preemptions. Bones (2.5/7) was down just 4% from its last original, finishing second at 8 PM, while big DVR gainer Fringe (1.8/5) was down 10%.