Win is a win – pretty or ugly. CBS’ ratings victory last night was on the ugly side, with all series down and two, $#*! My Dad Says and The Mentalist, hitting series lows. Still, the network logged another Thursday win in adults 18-49 (2.9/8) and total viewers (12.4 million). CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (3.8/12, 12.1 million) was once again the top-rated program of the night, in 18-49 sharing the honors with NBC’s The Office (3.8/10, 7.6 million), which aired an hourlong episode. (However, NBC’s results may have been inflated by NFL coverage in Nashville.) The Office, which was up a tenth from last week, Fox’s Fringe (1.9/5, up a tenth) and CBS’ CSI (3.0/8, 13.1 million) down a tenth from its last original on Nov. 18) didn’t get a significant boost from the lesser competition at 9 PM, with ABC airing Barbara Walters’ Oprah The Next Chapter special (2.9/8, 13.1 million) instead of original Grey’s Anatomy. Despite the heavy promotion, the Oprah special finished third at 9 PM in the demo and currently runs narrowly ahead of CSI by 10,000 viewers for No. 1 in the slot among total viewers. Here are other ratings highlights by network:
NBC stop-motion animation holiday episode of Community (2.0/6) did not score the way the series’ Halloween episodes have. It was up only a tenth from last week and that may be from inflation due to the NFL preemption in Nashville. 30 Rock (2.2/6) was down a tenth. At 10 PM, The Apprentice (1.8/5, 4.5 million) wrapped the franchise’s lowest-rated season to date with its lowest-rated finale. Still, the closer was up 29% from last week and hit a season high in 18-49. NBC finished third in the demo (2.1/6) and fourth in total viewers (5.7 million).
Following Big Bang, which was down 12% vs. its last original on Nov. 18, $#*! (2.7/8, 9.5 million) was down 10% fin the demo for a series low. The Mentalist (2.4/7, 13.4 million) was down a whopping 20%, also for a series low, finishing second in the hour in 18-49 behind ABC’s Barbara Walters Presents: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2010 special. (Mentalist still ranked as the most watched program of the night.)
10 Most Fascinating People of 2010 (3.2/9, 12.4 million) at 10 PM, the second of back-to-back Barbara Walters specials on ABC, was flat with last year’s edition. The network once again aired holiday specials in the 8 PM hour. Shrek the Halls (1.8/6) was down 31% from last year, Disney’s Prep & Landing (2.1/6) was up 5%. ABC drew its largest Thursday audience of the season (10.8 million) and was No.2 in 18-49 (2.7/8)
Fox’s Bones (2.3/7) was even with last week’s telecast. CW’s Vampire Diaries (3.1 million, 1.6/5 in 18-34) was even with last week in its target 18-34 demo while hitting a season low in adults 18-49 (1.3). Nikita (2.3 million, 0.9/3) was up 28% in the 18-34 demographic.