‘Big Bang Theory’ Top Show, But World Series Wins Night for Fox

Rick Kissell

UPDATE: In the Nielsen nationals released this afternoon, the World Series went up to a 3.6/11 in 18-49 and 13.43 million viewers overall. Through two games, the Fall Classic is averaging 13.9 million viewers — up 13% from last year’s very low numbers and a bit behind 2011 (14.2 million). Baseball trounced the NFL Network’s game pitting Carolina against winless Tampa Bay (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.60m).

CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” went up three-tenths in the nationals (5.2/16 in 18-49, 16.99m) to match last week’s demo score, but rookie lead-out “The Millers” fell off some (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.74m), down a tick in the nationals. There were no other demo changes at CBS or NBC. ABC’s “Scandal” was down a tenth in the nationals (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.62m).

CNN scored with the premiere of CNN Films production “Blackfish,” which averaged 472,000 adults 25-54 to lead cable news for the night; it drew 1.36 million viewers overall.


Fox won Thursday’s ratings race wiht Game 2 of the World Series, which was down from the opener, on a night that saw little movement on the entertainment series side, though CBS’ “Elementary” pulled out of its funk with week-to-week gains opposite ABC’s hot “Scandal,” which was down a bit.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox averaged a 3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to come up a bit in the nationals. Game 1 did a prelim 4.1 demo rating and 13.7 million, rising in the nationals to a 4.2 and 14.4 million — the largest Game 1 audience for the Fall Classic in three years. Last year’s Game 2 did a 2.9 demo rating in the prelims and a 3.5 in the nationals.

Elsewhere, CBS opened big as usual with “The Big Bang Theory” (4.9/16 in 18-49, 16.5 million viewers overall), which was nearly on par with last week and dominated its timeslot. It was followed by a week-to-week decline for rookie “The Millers” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), though it still looks pretty solid and has already received a back-nine order for this season. The retention of “Millers” out of “Big Bang” was 57% in the prelims, down from the roughly 70% of the established “Two and a Half Men” a year ago.

At 9 p.m., “The Crazy Ones” was down a tick to its low (2.3/7 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), but “Two and a Half Men” edged up (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall). Closing out the night, “Elementary” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) was up 20% (0.3) from its series low of last week.

At ABC, “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) retained just about all of its week-ago audience but remains a low-rated performer. It was followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall), up slightly from last week, and “Scandal” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), which was down 9% (0.3) but still comfortably led its hour among non-sports programming in 18-49 and 25-54 (3.4/8).

NBC improved its fortunes a bit in the 8 o’clock hour by benching its low-rated comedies for a repeat of “The Voice” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), but “Sean Saves the World” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and “The Michael J. Fox Show” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) were flat week to week in 18-49; the shows did edge up in total viewers. And at 10, “Parenthood” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) matched its week-ago ratings.

CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” was down from last week in the broad categories of 18-49 (1.1/3) and total viewers (2.5 million), but matched last week’s season high in adults 18-34 (1.3/4), beating ABC and NBC head-to-head. And at 9, “Reign” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) was not much of a demo player (0.5/2 in 18-34), but it held most of its premiere total-viewer number.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.4/10; CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.3/7; NBC and Univision, 1.3/4; CW, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 12.7 million; CBS, 10.3 million; ABC, 7.2 million; NBC, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 0.5/1.

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