Ratings: Big Bang Bests American Idol, Person of Interest Hits Series High

The King of Nerds is poised to crown American Idol, based on at least the preliminary Nielsen ratings for this Thursday night.

The Big Bang Theory‘s very funny (and very green dress-y) 100th episode scored a 5.2 demo rating, squeaking past the first half hour of Idol’s Season 11 premiere, Part 2 (which netted a 5.1). Of course, Idol (as well as Leonard & Co.) could tick up some once the final numbers trickle in.

UPDATE: Adjusted data resulted in upticks for both Idol and Big Bang, but the geeks still came out on top; Idol‘s first half-hour climbed to a 5.2, while BBT inched up to a 5.3.

Michael Slezak’s American Idol Pittsburgh Audition Recap: Steel the One We Run To

Idol surged to a 6.1 rating from 8:30 to 9 (versus CBS’ Rob, which was down 12 percent to a 3.6), and trounced all comers in total audience with 17.7 million viewers (versus, say, Big Bang‘s 15.7 mil). Year-over-year, Idol was down more than 20 percent in both measures.

Week-to-week and in its first Idol face-off of the season, Big Bang Theory was down a tenth in the demo and just 2 percent in total viewers. The 8 o’clock show to be clobbered most by Idol was ABC’s Wipeout (5.8 mil/1.8, down almost 20 percent), while plucky Parks and Recreation (4.3 mil/2.0) actually inched up 5 percent.

Going hour-by-hour….

8 pm | Wipeout placed third behind Idol and the CBS comedies. 30 Rock (4.1 mil/1.6) dropped some 10 percent from its premiere, while Parks and Rec (as noted above) grew a bit. Vampire Diaries (2.72 mil/1.1) dipped 5 and 8 percent.

9 pm | Person of Interest (14.3 mil/3.3) dominated in total viewers and inched up a tenth in the demo to hit a series high. Grey’s Anatomy (9.3 mil/3.4) eked out the demo win, but was down double digits on both counts. Fox’s The Finder (6.8 mil/2.2) enjoyed a 29-percent demo boost from its Idol lead-in, yet still placed fourth in the category.

The Office was flat at 6 mil/2.9, while Up All Night (4.03 mil/1.9) slipped 5 percent. Secret Circle (1.66 mil/0.7) dropped 12 percent.

10 pm | The Mentalist dominated with 14 million total viewers and a 2.9 demo rating, up a few percentage points week-to-week. Private Practice (6.1 mil/2.1) was down 9 percent in the demo. NBC’s The Firm sagged another 19 and 10 percent, delivering just 3.4 mil and a 0.9.

What were you tuned into this Thursday?

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  1. Guilherme says:


  2. kirads09 says:

    I can’t help myself – Bazinga! Yay for Big Bangs 100th – it did not disappoint.

  3. Boiler says:

    Nice to see!!!

  4. hru says:

    BAZINGA Idol!

  5. evs says:

    woo hoo. can’t wait to see how mask sheduler avoids to comment on this

  6. Alex says:

    Excellent news! 5.1 is low for Idol…scripted TV never beats Idol, but Big Bang was awesome last night, so well deserved!

  7. Diane says:

    Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes American Idol.

  8. kevin says:

    PERSON OF INTEREST is still the best new show on Thursday nights and it definitely got me hooked on every episode I watched. Kudos to Caviezel, Emerson and the dynamic duo of Jonathan Nolan & J.J. Abrams.

  9. Joanne says:

    I was so excited about last night’s episode & then I turn on CBS & it’s college hoops. Needless to say, I was not happy. I still don’t know when it’s going to air out here in Charlotte, NC. Does anyone know?

  10. Guy says:

    Big Bang Theory rocks and deserves everything it gets. I really think this could be the last season of American Idol. The last 2 nights have really disappointed me this year.

    The Finder is dead. Goodbye and give us Bones please!

  11. stevie says:

    Person of Interest.
    Nolan. Abrams. Caviezel. Emerson.
    Nuff said.

  12. Saffron says:

    Completely stoked that BBT made the “wood for sheep” joke playing Settlers of Catan that the rest of us nerds have made for years.

  13. ador says:


    CBS stated that the POI pilot was well received, but when it premiere the show falter. Whatever CBS and producers did to refine the show worked. POI is rapidly posting NCIS:LA and CM like numbers by the middle of its first year. If this keeps up, POI by the end of its second year could be posting NCIS like numbers. I’m glad. The show is a keeper, and Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel deserved having a hit show.

  14. Amy says:

    NBC should cancel The Firm now

  15. Julie says:

    I laughed so hard during last night’s Big Bang! The wood/sheep/erect bit is now in my most favorite moments of the show! Sheldon rocked last night!!!

  16. Denise says:

    I want to watch The Finder but it conflicts with POI and Grey’s. They need to move it to a less crowded spot.

  17. Carol C says:

    I like the Firm (especially Callum Keith Rennie) and hope it’s numbers improve. While BBT is my favourite, I’m intrigued by the Finder and would like to see it find an audience.

  18. Snotty McCreepy says:

    I knew when that creepy, no-talent, hick won idol last year that it was the beginning of the end.

    • Toto says:

      It must really eat at you that his CD went platinum in 3 months, unprecedented in a debut release from someone so young. It must further slay you that he’s nominated for New Artist of the Year Award. I love it when spiteful people get it shoved down their throats.

      • Jennifer says:

        A bunch of inbred yokels buying the little hick’s album doesn’t change the fact that Idol no longer crowns talented people.

        • Toto says:

          ROFL. Do you have any hair or fingernails left. HaHa. Gnash your teeth, and enjoy the green-eyed monster in your mirror.

    • chistosa says:

      When you decide to take advantage of an education, you will learn to offer proper critques without resorting to insults and mean spirited comments that are the domain of the intellectually challenged.

  19. Sarah says:

    Live long and suck it American Idol!

  20. Isabelle says:

    YA for Person of Interest!! This is a quality show and I’m so happy to see it doing well, season 2 is gonna be a shoe in.

  21. Renee says:

    I’m really happy Person Of Interest is doing well. Great cast!

  22. JAO says:

    In regards to AI – “Bored Now…” I’ll wait until they get to the Top 10. Love BB and POI!

  23. JB Smooove says:

    Giggity, giggity. Penny in that green dress. BAZINGA!!!

  24. Brendan says:

    Rarely can I ever reclaim the obsession that I feel for a show when I first pick it up, but I got on a streak of BBT reruns last night after watching the new one that I enjoyed almost as much as when I was on my initial kick. That’s only ever happened with three other shows before (Chuck, Psych and HIMYM), and I’ve been very obsessed with at least two dozen tv shows for a couple months each. Great episode.

  25. sarah says:

    Secret Circle did not even get a rating?? Mind you I prefer Person and Greys but I do watch that show too

  26. Jesse says:

    I’m addicted to POI.

    • gbpenfan says:

      Me too! I liked it from the start, but have been totally addicted since “Witness”. So glad to see that it is doing well and the uber competitive Thursday night time slot.

  27. nina says:

    I say NBC cancel The Firm and Bring back Lipstick Jungle, kim raver is too good for grey’s anatomy

  28. Terry says:

    I’m definitely not watching Idol this year. After 10 seasons I’ve finally had enough. I’m fed up with the manipulation. The treatment of Haley Reinhart last season was the final straw for me. It would have been less upsetting if the “judges” had picked one favorite, but to play favorites with everyone except one was just upsetting, especially since that one was MY favorite!

    • JJ says:

      If Haley has any merit as a performer, she’ll have a career regardless of the Idol outcome. This has been shown in the cases of Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson etc. Since the winner is determined by maniacal teen girls, the show is really about exposure to a national audience. Lee DeWyze is evidence enough that winning guarantees nothing.

      • Emma says:

        My fingers are crossed for Haley. She was my fave, I love her voice and hope she does really well with her debut album. She really did get the shaft on that stupid show but you’re right, winning does not guaratee success and not winning does not guarantee failure. I’m not watching this season. If they had replaced the judges and changed the voting (maximum 10 votes per device would be fair) then I would have considered watching again.

  29. dot says:

    NBC Thursday comedy lineup is amazing. How are people noT watching wish people would tune in love parks and recreation its so funny the writers are amazing and its casted to perfection!

  30. Amber says:

    I secretly root against 30 Rock in the ratings now. Nothing too much against the show (though I do find it very bland compared to how good it used to be), I just want NBC to realize the low ratings for Community were just because it was in a not-great spot in the schedule. Also, because they never bothered to advertise it. I thought Parks and Rec was very funny last night, the experiences in the hospital reminded me of so many of my own experiences as a poor person having to go to the doctor. “What? I have to pay a deductible? What’s that? But I thought I had insurance!!”

  31. Amy says:

    I agree with what you said about 30 Rock. NBC should realize that Community was in a tough timeslot and even without any advertisement, it still managed to get a rating of 3.6 million

  32. Dot says:

    Totally agree with you guys theirs Thursday are tough for rateings for NBC thiers nothing wrong with the shows their amazing and so funny!