Ratings: Big Bang Makes Its Biggest Bang, Rules Returns Strong, Secret Circle Up

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With a meh-rated World Series bumping X Factor and NBC comedies in repeat mode, The Big Bang Theory capitalized on an opportunity to geek out in the ratings department.

The CBS comedy gained 11 percent week-to-week to deliver its most-watched and highest-rated Thursday episode ever (drawing 14.93 million total viewers while scoring a robust 5.1 demo rating, based on final numbers).

That teed up new lead-out Rules of Engagement (11.5 million viewers/3.6 rating) for its most-watched and highest-rated fall premiere since 2007. (At last tally, the doomed How to Be a Gentleman delivered 7.6 mil/2.5 in the time slot).

Other shows notching increases include The CW’s The Secret Circle (2.11 mil/0.9), which was up some 13 percent week-to-week (leading out of a flat Vampire Diaries, 2.9 mil/1.4).

Elsewhere on the night:

* Fox’s coverage of World Series Game 2 averaged 12.9 million total viewers and a 3.7 rating, down some 10 percent from Wednesday’s opener.

* ABC’s dying-on-the-vine Charlie’s Angels (5.63 mil/1.2) dipped 5 and 8 percent. Grey’s Anatomy (9.4 mil/3.5) was down a bit, while Private Practice (6.6 mil/2.4) — facing a Prime Suspect repeat — saw slight gains.

* CBS’ Person of Interest (12.3 mil/2.7) drew a few extra eyeballs while holding steady in the demo, while The Mentalist (12.5 mil/2.5) was flat.

What were you watching on Thursday night?

Comments (38)

  • TBBT was at its best last night. I know they sometimes go overboard with Sheldon, but I thought delving into the relationship with his mother just shows how much he wants to be coddled, even though he’s ridiculously book smart and shuns such kind of affection from others. Someone of his genius only comes, once, maybe twice a generation…

    Comment by scooterbeanbag – October 21, 2011 08:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The reruns on tbs must be helping tremendously. I think that’s what helped get ncis on top too.

    Comment by Clarissa – October 21, 2011 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Clarissa, I agree. Although I have watched TBBT since the beginning it has to help that it is now on TBS. I never watched NCIS until I started watching reruns on USA. Now I never miss it on Tuesday and I still watch all of the reruns.

      Comment by Steve T – October 21, 2011 10:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TBBT was great! I was worried about missing Parks & Rec, but with a repeat, I didn’t feel guilty about watching Rules instead! Both were hilarious last night! At 9pm, I actually caught the secret circle for the first time since the pilot because the office was a repeat. It’s still too teeny-bopper for me, but probably a good fit for the CW demo.

    Comment by Sara – October 21, 2011 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle (especially TSC) were great last night! The CW is such a great network and doesn’t get enough credit. People under 30 rule!!! :D

    Comment by Snapy – October 21, 2011 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m 33 and my wife and I watched TVD. Can we rule too? :-)

      Comment by Mike – October 21, 2011 09:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m 35, and The Vampire Diaries is my favorite show on TV LOL I never miss it, and always have to watch it live. I did DVR The Big Bang Theory to watch today, though.

        But just wanted to give a TVD shout out! I’m obsessed with it

        Comment by Jenn C – October 21, 2011 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m 21, but hey everyone who watches TVD and Spnl rule!!! xD

      Comment by Will – October 21, 2011 09:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It doesn’t get enough credit, because people who rule (read that as people under 30 as you suggest) DON’T watch the network enough. Cause viewers = credit

      Comment by LIl Jo – October 21, 2011 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Why is that now The Vampire Diaries its losing the 18-34 demo is that suddenly “all the 30 year olds watching the show” are posting? I’m just wondering

      Comment by Guess – October 21, 2011 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m still under 30 and love TVD, yay me! I especially love Damon, lol!

      Comment by annabelle – October 21, 2011 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Person of Interest. I hope it sticks around. I’ve had a major crush on Jim Caviezel since FREQUENCY and this is the first time he’s been a bad-ass. The best shows this fall are the returning GOOD WIFE, PSYCH and HAWAII FIVE-O. All are having great seasons.

    Comment by Jasmine – October 21, 2011 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Person of Interest was the BEST show on TV! And The Big Bang Theory wasn’t that far behind, I’m glad they were a ratings sucess last night

      Comment by Guess – October 21, 2011 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love Person of Interest too. My favorite new show and becoming my favorite show period.

      Comment by Renee – October 21, 2011 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Completely agree. I wish someone would write a recap geeking out on all the technology – I read somewhere that it’s all within the realm of reality. Love this show.

        Comment by NanCeE* – October 21, 2011 04:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Holy ****! TVD rocked last night!!! And POI is the best new show this fall! I’m so in love with this show. Mentalist was great as usual.

    Comment by Girish – October 21, 2011 09:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the ratings for person of interest are extraordinary strong. didn’t expect that. really good show too!

    Comment by elevendcc – October 21, 2011 10:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m proud, intelligent shows don’t often find such a strong audience and Person of Interest dares to be smart as well as entertaining

      Comment by Guess – October 21, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish I could have seen TBBT last night. Comcast went out in my area for about 2 hours — starting during the airing of syndicated repeats of TBBT on MyPHL and kept on going. *grumble* I’m really hoping last night’s ep is loaded on OnDemand when I get home today! Love that show.

    Comment by JP – October 21, 2011 10:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am I the only one who is getting sick of TBBT it just feels stale to me, I loved the show for the first 3 seasons of so but I feel like nothing ever changes or gets better on the show. Like Community switches it up every week and always keeps things fresh- and I am not trying to bash TBB or anything I just felt like sharing

    Comment by torontogirl98 – October 21, 2011 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think the show needs more Penny. She grounds the show a lot and when she’s not in it, it feels too absurd.

      Comment by Mark – October 21, 2011 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • For me the addition of Amy and Bernadette is the problem with the show. If I wanted to watch a show about couples then I would watch Friends reruns or HIMYM. I liked the show a lot better when Penny was the only girl in the group, but I will say Leslie’s brief appearances always made me laugh. Last night’s episode felt like the show I love and not the show I only watch when bored. And the best part was hearing “Sofy Kitty”!

      Comment by lacey – October 21, 2011 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Meant “Soft Kitty”

        Comment by lacey – October 21, 2011 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TBBT was okay last night. Sheldon’s mom was really funny. Vampire Diaries was exciting, as usual. And I actually thought Rules of Engagment was kind of funny, too. Glad it did well in the ratings.

    Comment by SK – October 21, 2011 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m very pleased RoE did so well in the ratings. It’s been a good performer for CBS for years and for them to have moved it to Saturdays was a slap in the face.

    So I’m glad the rubbish “comedy” which replaced it in the schedule absolutely tanked and RoE returned to its rightful place after TBBT with its best ratings in years.

    I hope CBS do the right thing by RoE and give it a back 9 to keep it going until May 2012.

    Comment by Scott – October 21, 2011 12:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • BBT was good last night. I laughed more last night than all this season. Which is saying something since this season has been very good. I like The Mentalist a lot, but wasn’t really excited for last night’s episode. I’ll watch it tonight and Person of Interest. I’m glad it’s doing well. :))

    Comment by Haven – October 21, 2011 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TVD is getting better by the week! It is well-written and the surprises keep coming. I love this show- and I’m 37!

    Comment by Susy – October 21, 2011 01:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I insist: Why is that now that The Vampire Diaries its losing the 18-34 demo all of the sudden all the “30 year olds watching the show” are posting?

    Comment by Guess – October 21, 2011 03:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mostly I’m laughing because The Secret Circle gained viewers despite all the teeth gnashing over last weeks episode and all the comments of “I’m done with this show”.

    Comment by Amy – October 21, 2011 04:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TVD and TSC were both amazing last night! Especially TSC, because it set itself up for an amazing arc this season and I can’t wait to see where it goes! I really recommend this show to all fans of TVD and those into witches and the supernatural. The show only gets better every episode, and what I loved about the episode “Wake” was that it really gave the show the push forward with a lot of possibilities.

    I hope many more tune in next week for the Halloween episode. If anything goes to prove, vampires, witches, ghosts, werewolves, hybrids, witch hunters, AND more witches will make for an epic Thursday night next week. So please, tune in for TVD but definitely stay for The Secret Circle. It’s going to be wild!

    Comment by Anonymous – October 21, 2011 04:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, I think it started off meh, but the last two episodes have been awesome and this witch-hunter arc looks interesting. Plus, I love that the adults are getting some storyline action; I’m loving Natasha Henstridge, Gale Harold, and Ashley Crow.

      Comment by ChrisGa – October 21, 2011 08:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry, but last night’s Big Bang was hardly one of their better episodes; the jokes seemed forced and the show was not that funny.

    Comment by Bazinga – October 21, 2011 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have loved TBBT from the beginning, but watching the occasional episode on TBS reminds me how much funnier it was in the early seasons. True, it was geekier then and maybe over the head of an “average” viewer, so now they’ve worked in some settled-ish relationships to appeal more to across the spectrum. Maybe that’s why it’s gone a little flat.
      I think Kaley Cuoco is vastly underrated in this series, have come to appreciate her comic timing immensely.

      Comment by grannygeek – October 22, 2011 07:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think TBBT is as funny as it was before: Lets face it, it would be unrealistic for those guys go through life without a relationship – even if geeks are “supposed” to die single – and their relationships are better than The Vampire Diaries/Secret Circle so therein lies the better rating IMO.

        Comment by Guess – October 22, 2011 08:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d have to agree. I used to Loves me some TBBT. But sadly, this season is leaving a lot to be desired. I actually think they should only do one more season…it pains me to say, but it’s getting to be about that time.

      Comment by kiki – October 22, 2011 07:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Heh, heh….I see what you did there.

    Comment by JB Smooove – October 21, 2011 11:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m 41 and Vampire Diaries is my favorite show on TV right now (and I have 3 DVRs & watch a lot of TV). My best friend is 61 and we spend hours talking about the show. It is fantasically written and acted and you don’t have to be “18 – 34″ to love it and get a lot out of it. The Secret Circle is leaning a little younger with it’s story lines but I think, with the same leaniage of TVD, it will evolve into a show any age can enjoy. Besides age is just a number! :)

    Comment by catbean – October 22, 2011 12:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • @Catbean, I absolutely agree with you! Age is nothing but a number. TVD has great writers and is well-acted. It is one of the better shows on TV.

    Comment by Susy – October 23, 2011 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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