Another hard-to-untangle night, marked with local NFL preemptions. CBS posted big gains at 9 PM and 10 PM but they will likely be erased in the finals because the network’s fast nationals were inflated by a big football game in Pittsburgh. The Big Bang Theory (4.7/14) was the least impacted as the game started at 8:25 PM on the East Coast. The comedy returned after three weeks of repeats down 11%. Rules Of Engagement (3.2/9) was also down 11% from its last original three weeks ago to post a season low. Because of the game, Rules will likely be adjusted down, so the season low is expected to stick. Not expected to stick are the double-digit bumps for Person Of Interest (3.0/8, up 15% from three weeks ago) and The Mentalist (3.0/8, up 20%), which reflect game-related ratings inflation. For now, CBS is tracking as No.1 in 18-49 and total viewers for the night.
After an uptick last week, NBC’s soon-to-be-benched comedy Community (1.5/4) was down 12%. Parks And Recreation (1.7/6) was down 6% for a series low. The Office (2.9/8) and Whitney (1.9/5) were flat, tied with their season lows. With little promotion, a special airing of Grimm (1.6/4) in the 10 PM period matched the show’s most recent 18-49 delivery in its regular Friday 9 PM slot 3 weeks ago. It was up 23% from Prime Suspect‘s demo performance last week to post NBC’s highest 18-49 rating in the Thursday 10 PM hour in 11 weeks. Another Grimm original airs tonight.
Fox’s The X Factor result show (3.0/8) was down a tenth from last week. Bones (2.7/7) was also down a tenth. Its fast-national rating may have been inflated a little by a football preemption in Cleveland whose impact is expected to be small and limited mostly to the 9 PM hour. ABC aired a hodgepodge of unscripted programs: Wipeout (1.9/5), America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.9/5) and The Great Big American Auction special (1.4/4).