Ratings: Big Bang, Community Survive Opposite American Idol, Parks and Rec Returns Strong

The misfits held up just fine.

Facing the American Idol steamroller for the first time, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory finished a strong No. 2 at 8 pm/ET with 13.5 million viewers, which was on par with its season average. Even NBC’s Community was at or near normal levels with 4.7 million, while the “official” premiere of Perfect Couples at 8:30 did OK with 4.2 million.

Idol, of course, was the night’s top show with 22 million viewers, a 20 percent drop from its Wednesday premiere. In its new 9 pm perch behind Idol, Bones drew its biggest audience in months (11 million) and even beat an original CSI among adults 18-49 (3.6 vs. 3.1). Both, however, ceded the 9 pm demo crown to The Office, which earned its best numbers of the season (8.2 million, 4.2). Benefiting from a stronger lead-in, Parks and Recreation returned with a series-high performance (6.2 million) at 9:30.

Overall, NBC’s three-hour comedy block experiment got off to a decent start. At 10 p.m., 30 Rock‘s 5.3 million (2.7 demo) was a marked improvement over previous timeslot occupant The Apprentice, although Outsourced fell to 4.0 million at 10:30.

ABC (with the exception of Wipeout) and The CW were in repeats.

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  1. Aline says:

    Is there any news about Community being renewed?

  2. Lou says:

    Well done Parks and Rec! So happy its done so good

  3. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    So happy to see the Bangers and Community hold up!

    And Bones’ numbers? Dayum!

    • Inspector Penny says:

      I am so relieved by the P&R and Community numbers. What are the current chances for renewal?

      Bones #s were just ho-hum considering the Idol lead is still gigantic.

  4. bones says:

    I think Bones should wait until Grey’s is back before they celebrate too hard.

    • Inspector Penny says:

      The numbers/retention wasn’t high enough to celebrate anyway. When they decline even more, I will be there (not literally, stopped watching) to shout


      The writers have completely lost me with bad plots and their a**y behavior.

  5. jen says:

    I’d be surprised if Bones maintains that kind of Idol for long, since this season has been absolutely awful so far.

    • bones says:

      I totally agree. They got 11 million earlier in the season without an AI lead in. They lost 2 million viewers by the half hour mark. I wouldn’t be counting my chickens before they’re hatched*. The whole season has been a character-destroying disaster. (*I realise the demo is the all important thing, but still).

  6. Ann says:

    Yay community!

  7. Sourabh says:

    Who would have thought at the start of the season that I’d end up actually liking Outsourced?
    The three hour NBC comedy block is a great idea, but I really wish something else aired instead of Perfect Couples. I watched two episodes, and I disliked them more than I disliked the first few episodes of Cougar Town’s first season. Cougar Town changed things a bit and became awesome, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen with Perfect Couples.

    • LOL says:

      I enjoyed the NBC block last night. The Office episode was possibly the best of the season. So great to have Parks and Recreation back. Man, I missed that show. Community and 30 Rock were solid, as usual. Shockingly, Outsourced has grown on me. Perfect Couples had its moments, but still felt like a disorganized mess.

  8. Ben Phelps says:

    Glad to see Community and Parks & Rec start off (relatively) strong! Keep it up

  9. John Berggren says:

    I want to like Perfect Couples because I like Kyle Bornheimer a lot. Guy can’t seem to find a series that works though. Of the 3, I liked Worst Week the best – and it just didn’t find an audience.

    I’d be glad to see Community go on forever, but I was wondering last night how it could – aren’t most community colleges 2 year affairs? They’ve clearly established being in semester 2 of year 2, I’d think they’d be moving on.

    Madhuri keeps me coming back for more Outsourced. The show can be uneven, but I hope it sticks around as the indian stars are fantastic and it’s not the easiest thing to find non-bollywood work for indian actors.

  10. Scott says:

    John, in the pilot it was established that Community College is a 4 year thing – maybe just for Jeff – but many have taken that to mean Community might only be around for 4 seasons, assuming it gets renewed in May for season 3. And then again in May 2012 for season 4.

    Hopefully NBC won’t do what CBS did last year and cancel all of their underperforming comedies. If they did, I don’t think even 30 Rock and Parks & Rec would be safe, never mind Outsourced, Community and Perfect Couples.

    So hopefully NBC are serious about keeping a 3 hour comedy block, in which case if I was Perfect Couples or Outsourced, I’d be concerned. We should be thankful that NBC aren’t CBS because they tend to cancel their worst performing sitcom every year and Bleep My Dad Says’s ratings are better than any in NBC’s 3 hour comedy block.

    • John says:

      Fortunately 30 Rock earned itself an early pickup, I think the day before the 10pm experiment was announced. Although, fortunately the caution wasn’t necessary, since I think 30 Rock is a perfect “10pm comedy”.

  11. DarkEmy says:

    If I may say, I feel that this site has way too many news about american idol. Practically 4 out of 10 articles are about that show, and it’s actually kind of dumb and boring. I’m sure every series mentioned in this arcticle has more entertaining value than that reality crap…

  12. Gene says:

    Bleep My Dad Says was adjusted up in the ratings this week, and they were actually up in overall households this week, which means they increased in audience against American Idol.

  13. Becca says:

    Was so excited that Community was back again last night! I love it so much, and was extremely glad it held its own and was not the worst in ratings.

  14. Neptuny says:

    I don’t get how that many people watch ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Like THAT many. o_O

    • DarkEmy says:

      Some of us are just geeks ;) Also, for me, tbbt is the best comedy on tv nowadays and we all know how much do people need a bit of laughter in their lives…

    • Sourabh says:

      While my first preference in comedy is still the NBC comedy block, along Modern Family and Cougar Town, I still watch and like The Big Bang Theory. I normally dislike any show with a laugh track, but The Big Bang Theory is actually not bad.

  15. The NBC block was excellent this thursday. I hate reality TV with a passion and worry when i see something like idol up against some of the most original and better written comedy on TV. The networks shouldn’t panic, remember “Arrested Development”? That show was canceled 5 years ago and it STILL sells on DVD. When was the last time you saw “Idol” on DVD anywhere?

    Fingers crossed comcast doesn’t cancel Community or P & R, i think “the office” is on the way out anyway with Carrel leaving

  16. Gale says:

    I tried again to watch Parks and Rec this week, since ew loves it so much,and again turned it off before it was done. I just don’t find it funny.