Ratings: NCIS Cops Largest Audience Ever

You don’t mess with Jethro Gibbs, folks.

Now in its eighth season, CBS’s NCIS scored its largest audience ever — ever — this Tuesday night, averaging almost 22 million total viewers. NCIS also recorded its best 18-49 rating since October 2009.

Accordingly, NCIS: Los Angeles had a big night as well, delivering its biggest audience in over a year (18 million viewers).

Elsewhere on Tuesday night:

* Now facing fresh NCIS: LA fare, ABC’s V still retained 88 percent of its Season 2 premiere audience, and bested Fox’s Million Dollar Money Drop in viewers and the demos.

* At 10 o’clock, The Good Wife dominated, beating its combined CBS and NBC competition by 12 percent in total viewers (with 12.2 million).

* Despite The Good Wife‘s return with new episodes, NBC’s plucky Parenthood scored its second-highest audience and demos since September 21.