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Ratings Update: “The Big Bang Theory” Wins Thursday; “Grey’s Anatomy” is Top Drama

Final Ratings Update: “The Big Bang Theory,” which relocated to CBS’ Thursday night lineup, ranked as the night’s top program in both adults 18-49 and total viewership.

Per final Nielsen broadcast data, Thursday’s “Big Bang” posted a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating with 14.811 million total viewers.

“Big Bang” seizes the Thursday throne from Thursday Night Football, which will air as an NFL Network exclusive for the remainder of the season. Thursday’s Bengals-Browns game drew a 3.06 adults 18-49 rating with 8.790 million total viewers.

Prior to this week, the season’s Thursday Night Football games were also airing on CBS.

— Off last week, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” returned with an original this Thursday. While down from the previous episode’s 2.4 adults 18-49 rating and 8.964 million total viewers, this week’s 2.3 rating and 8.504 million viewership mark positioned “Grey’s” as the night’s top drama in both columns.

“Scandal,” which usually earns that distinction in adults 18-49, settled for #2 in both columns this week. The 9PM ABC drama posted a 2.2 with 8.026 million viewers; last week’s broadcast managed a 2.3 with 7.802 million.

— ABC’s lineup also included “How To Get Away With Murder” (1.9 rating, 6.487 million viewers), which ranked as the night’s #3 drama in both categories. The numbers were up from last week’s series low figures (1.8, 6.272 million).

CBS’ lineup also included “Life In Pieces” (1.9, 7.881 million), “Mom” (1.5, 7.279 million), a “The Big Bang Theory” re-run (1.3, 6.211 million), and “Elementary” (1.1, 5.583 million).

Fast National Ratings: Outside of the Cleveland and Cincinnati markets, CBS’ Thursday lineup did not include a football game. It still featured the night’s top broadcast network program.

Per fast national data, “The Big Bang Theory,” that program, led the night with a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating and 15.049 million total viewers.

No longer the night’s top-rated or most-watched non-sports programs, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” this week settled for “top Thursday drama” qualifiers. The two ABC series each drew a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

From a total audience standpoint, “Grey’s” was actually the outright winner among dramas. It reached 8.487 million total viewers, while “Scandal” attracted an overall audience of 8.026 million.

“Grey’s” was down from its previous broadcast, which drew a 2.4 and 8.964 million viewers on October 22. Compared to last week’s performance (2.3, 7.802 million), “Scandal” was even in adults 18-49 and up in viewership.

ABC’s Thursday night also included “How To Get Away With Murder” (1.9, 6.493 million vs. 1.8, 6.272 million last week).

CBS’ Thursday night, which featured Thursday Night Football pre-emptions in the aforementioned two markets, also included “Life in Pieces” (2.3, 9.186 million), the season premiere of “Mom” (2.0, 8.391 million), a “Big Bang Theory” re-run (1.7, 7.209 million), and the season premiere of “Elementary” (1.5, 6.639 million).

Due to the sports pre-emptions, the CBS numbers will be subject to atypically large adjustments — almot certainly of the downward variety — in the final ratings report.
CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” series is done for the season (the national telecast now airs exclusively on NFL Network), but the network’s Thursday lineup still boasted the night’s top broadcast network program.

Per the Nielsen metered market ratings, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” posted a 9.7 overnight household rating in its 8-8:30PM timeslot. It easily ranked as the night’s broadcast leader in households, and it will earn the same #1 status in adults 18-49 and total viewership.

“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” which had both claimed the Thursday non-sports crown earlier this season, slipped to #2 and #3, respectively in the overnight household ratings. The former posted a 6.4, while the latter posted a 6.35. “Scandal” may, however, best “Grey’s Anatomy” in adults 18-49.

“Life in Pieces,” which relocated to Thursdays with its lead-in “The Big Bang Theory,” posted a 5.1 overnight household rating in the 8:30PM half-hour. That gave it a slight edge over ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder” (5.05) and CBS’ own “Mom” (5.0 at 9PM).

CBS’ lineup also included a 9:30PM re-run of “The Big Bang Theory” (4.3) and 10PM drama “Elementary” (3.85).

Adults 18-49 and total viewership data is due by 11AM ET.

Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002. Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]

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Brian Cantor