The generational transition on Thursday continues. The 3 series that had been the anchors on the night for years, CBS’ CSI, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and NBC’s The Office, all hit lows last night. No great reason for concern for Grey’s (4.5/12) and The Office (3.4/9) just yet as they led their networks’ lineup by a wide margin and finished No.1 and No.3 for the night overall. But CSI (2.7/7) was the lowest-rated program on CBS last night, which featured ratings declines on the CBS and NBC and gains on Fox and CW. Since male-skewing shows were hit harder than the female-skewing ones, the baseball playoffs probably played a role, and some of the declines will probably be offset in DVR viewing.
The Big Bang Theory (4.0/13) continues to settle into its new Thursday slot. It was down 9% from last week but still absolutely dominated the 8-8:30 PM slot. But CBS has reasons for concern with $#*! My Dad Says (2.8/9). It was down 15% and held onto a so-so 70% of its Big Bang lead-in. It also finished No.1 in its time slot but by a hair, barely edging Fox’s Bones. Following CSI (2.7/7), which was down 13% for an all-time low, The Mentalist (3.0/9) was flat. It won the 10 PM slot and was the most-watched program on the night with 14.3 million. CBS tried switching CSI and The Mentalist last season when it didn’t make much of a difference. Maybe The Mentalist is now ready to take over the tentpole 9 PM position. CBS won the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers for a third consecutive week.
Second consecutive night with no good news for NBC. Community (1.7/6) was down 11%, 30 Rock (2.1/6) was down 19%, The Office (3.4/9) was down 8% for its lowest-rated fall telecast ever, and new comedy Outsourced (2.5/7) was down 11%. Community is now dipping below the level of the low-rated SNL specials in the 8 PM half-hour last fall, and 30 Rock is where Parks & Rec was a year ago. Outsourced’s retention (74%) was a little better than that for $#*! and close to what 30 Rock averaged in the slot last season (76%). No rebound for The Apprentice (1.3/4) at 10 PM. There is no chance the reality series would be able to continue much longer in the plum Thursday 10 PM slot with those Jay Leno Show-level numbers.
Following a Grey’s Anatomy rerun (1.1/4), which subbed for the recently departed My Generation, a new Grey’s (4.5/12) was down only 2% from last week but technically logged its lowest-rated fall telecast for a second consecutive week. (Vs. the series’ fast-national number last Thursday, Grey’s was actually up .1, so we have to wait for the finals to make a final call on it.). Private Practice (2.9/8) at 10 PM was up 4%, finishing neck-and-neck in the demo with The Mentalist.
Promising sign for Fox’s Thursday dramas, which had taken some beating this season: Bones (2.6/8) was up 4%, Fringe (2.0/5) up 5%.
Solid increases for freshman Nikita, moving it closer to a back-nine order. The freshman drama was up double-digits across the board from last week, including 22% week in adults 18-34 (1.1/3) and 11% in total viewers (3.0 million). Vampire Diaries was also up, 9% in total viewers (3.5 million).