Ratings: Elementary Opens Big, Grey's Returns Up, Big Bang Hits High, Last Resort So-So

My dear, Watson! CBS’ Elementary looks like a Sherlock for q back-9 pick-up after premiering on Thursday night to 13.2 million total viewers and a 3.1 demo rating. That beats time slot predecessor The Mentalist‘s year-ago opener in the demo, and is on par with Person of Interest’s own, boffo series debut.

RELATED | Fall TV Poll: Are Elementary’s Holmes and Watson a Crime-Solving Dream Team?

Opening the night for CBS, The Big Bang Theory (15.3 million/4.8) delivered its most-watched season premiere and improved greatly on its May finale. Two and a Half Men christened its new time slot with 12.3 mil and a 3.5, up in audience from its finale while improving on Rules of Engagement‘s most recent Thursday-at-8:30 tallies by some 70 percent.

Person of Interest followed with 14.2 mil and a 3.0, up from both its series debut and freshman finale.

Elsewhere on Thursday….

* ABC’s Last Resort didn’t quite have a “sub”-par premiere, but it coulda been better, veritably matching Charlie’s Angels‘ year-ago debut with 9.1 million total viewers and a 2.2 rating. (That said, those numbers mark gains of 40 and 70 percent from the Missing finale.) Grey’s Anatomy returned to 11.5 mil and a 4.3, up 11 and 4 percent from its previous premiere and up a tick from the plane-crash finale. Capping ABC’s night, Scandal (7 mil/2.3) improved in its series premiere rating and did 10 and 20 percent better than its freshman finale.

RELATED | Read Our Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal recaps, Weigh In on Last Resort

* Over on Fox, The X Factor (9.2 mil/3.2) dipped 9 percent, while Glee (6 mil/2.5) — facing full-on competition — fell 10 and 14 percent.

RELATED | Michael Slezak’s Glee Recap: Come on, Vogue?

* The numbers for NBC’s comedy line-up are subject to change (downward) due to NFL preemptions in Cleveland and Baltimore, but as of now they look like this, all suggesting week-to-week gains: SNL Thursday (5.4 mil/1.7), Up All Night (4.5 mil/1.8), The Office (5.2 mil/2.4) and Parks and Recreation (4.5 mil/2.1).

COMING NEXT THURSDAY: NBC’s 30 Rock launches its final season; watch a sneak peek.

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75 Comments
  1. jasie says:

    It just seems like a strange time slot for Last Resort. Seems like they would have been better sliding scandal up to that spot and having it be the 10 show or flip it with Nashville and have it be with Greys and Scandal.

    • Tom says:

      Scandal is not suitable for a broadcast network to have on at 8 PM which is why it is on at 10. I hear Nashville is the same way which is ABC’s major issue. They have more dramas that are required to be on at 10 than 10 o’clock time slots available. Right now, the best bet would be to move Last Resort to the Wednesday night at 10 time slot, move Nashville to the 10 PM on Sunday night and then move 666 Park Ave to Tuesdays at 10 when Private Practice ends.

    • TheBeach says:

      I agree. The 8:00 PM time slot for such a high-intensity drama seemed a little weird. It is definitely more suited for a later airing. That being said, I really enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for that political/military/espionage type of show.

  2. Christian says:

    Yay Modern Family remains the highest rated sitcom. Family rules, Big Bang drools!

    • kyle says:

      Proud of ourselves?

    • dan says:

      In total viewers, I think BBT beat MF (they had 14 million to BBT’s 15 million), unless I misread the ratings from Wednesday’s lineup.

      • JC says:

        Nobody (read: advertisers) cares about total viewers. Unless you write press releases for CBS, then total viewers is ALL that matters.

        • KevyB says:

          CERTAIN advertisers don’t care about demos, but certainly not NOBODY. Besides, DVR watching haven’t been added in for either show yet, and Thursday shows get way more DVR viewers than Wednesday shows do (and it is people in THAT demo who are the ones actually able to work their DVR players).

    • Jose says:

      actually modern family had 14.4 million viewers last night and the big bang theory with 15.3 and with tougher competition remains the highest rated comedy……. who drools now?

    • Miffy says:

      You’re really weird. Why is it so important to you what other people prefer? Are you that insecure?

  3. Patrick says:

    I wasn’t blown away by Sherlock. If the show is just him being smart and quirky: eh. But POI is awesome. Most entertaining show on TV right now.

  4. JP says:

    I wonder how much of the ELEMENTARY ratings are due to the PoI lead-in. Honestly, at least to me, the show came across as any of the police procedurals CBS loves so much. For a Holmes/Watson outing it was boring.

    • Tracie says:

      I think Elementary is very lucky to have Person of Interest as a lead-in. PoI continues to be one of the best shows on network TV, and the 2nd season premiere was absolutely awesome. I think CBS was smart to put The Big Bang Theory, 2 and a Half Men, PoI and Elementary on Thursday night — I think they will hold the number 1 spot over the course of the season. X Factor is not really living up to the hype, Last Resort didn’t impress, and Grey’s is an aging show. The upcoming shows on The CW are not going to make a dent in those ratings.The only question is whether Elementary can keep up their ratings.

    • Morgan says:

      Quite right. It’s just another CBS police procedural. I think there are quite enough already.

    • crochetowl says:

      Ditto about it being boring. Didn’t even make it through the entire episode. There was nothing about it that made it special. I’ll stick with POI which is still my fave show on network tv.

    • Simon Jester says:

      Except it did better than PERSON OF INTEREST in the demo, which got a 2.9 vs. ELEMENTARY’s 3.1. In other words, ELEMENTARY picked up a number of 18-49 viewers who didn’t watch POI.

  5. Mark says:

    Good for Grey’s Anatomy. Those ratings are great for such an old show and kudos to it for improving year to year. The episode was pretty twisted but was enjoyable, that’s for sure.

    Last Resort really shouldn’t be in the 8 pm time slot.

    The office and parks & Rex were both on their A game last night. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown to enjoy Tate’s character.

  6. POIFanatic says:

    Last Resort had one of the BEST pilots, if not the best, this year! People need to watch it and ABC needs to put it at 10pm, away from the death slot! It has so much potential!
    Person of Interest was freaking awesome!!! This show will give a 22-year-old an heart attack due to all the awesomeness!
    Elementary was just another procedural where the lead is quirky and just to attract viewers, CBS made him Sherlock Holmes. And just to be on the safe side, made Watson a lady. It was not bad, but not really good if you have seen the far superior ‘Sherlock’.
    Still have to watch Grey’s and TBBT, but those numbers are great.

  7. I wish Last Resort did better in the ratings. It’s a great show but definitely not an 8 o’clock Thursday show. There’s no where else ABC can really move it to so I guess it’s stuck there for the time being.

    • Skeff says:

      I loved Last Resort. I am keeping my fingers crossed that people watch it because I don’t want it to be cancelled!!!!

    • Tracie says:

      I think Last Resort should have been on a cable network, like FX. It doesn’t seem like a good fit on ABC at 8 PM. This is a serialized show that would benefit from having fewer episodes per season (like only 10). I can see how Last Resort could be intriguing for about 20 episodes, but I can’t imagine how they could stretch this series out over 5 seasons/ 100 episodes. Everybody knows where the crew took the submarine. They basically declared that island an independent nation and took over the NATO station. That’s a great idea if this were a mini-series or a TV movie. My burning question is whether or not the United Nations would just step in and say, “How could former US military take over another country (the island) without any consequences?” It really is hard to suspend my disbelief that this type of precedence wouldn’t lead to other military rebels taking over other small countries. Wouldn’t The UN be concerned that if a former US Navy captain can take over a non-US island, then what’s to stop something like the French taking over Monaco or St. Martin or something? Sorry, but that really bothered me about this show’s premise!

      • Superhero says:

        It’s pretty disappointing that pretty much any time a good drama shows up on the broadcast networks, we need to say “it should be on a cable network.” Shows how far the broadcast networks have fallen in that regard.

      • Eli says:

        Tracie, it’s simple: other “rebels” don’t have 17 nuclear warheads. That’s the reason the UN won’t do anything right away.

      • Areyoukiddingme! says:

        Are you really that daft? Haven’t you seen or heard US taking over a certain middle-eastern country or what? The UN couldn’t do a damn thing then! Its all bark and no bite!

        • jb says:

          Yes, but you were talking about the ENTIRE US government/ military taking over Iraq and Afghanistan. That means the Army, Navy, AF, Marines, etc. (thousands of people) working together to take over another country, so of course, The UN would be powerless in that case. In this show’s premise, there is only ONE US submarine with nuclear missiles that has DEFECTED from the US, so they would be considered traitors/ rebels in the eyes of The UN. The crew disobeyed a direct order from the Dept. of Defense; they were NOT following the President’s orders. It is a very different situation for The UN to back off because the “Big Bad US Government” wanted to invade a country VS. one solitary submarine declaring themselves a sovereign nation because they invaded an island. The two situations are NOT the same, since there are only 20-30 people on that submarine, and anyone from the outside will see that crew as defectors, NOT representatives of the entire US military.

    • fayedigi says:

      Last Resort was an excellent show but its time slot is no good at all. There must be another place for it on ABC. It is a quality show.

  8. MelindaB says:

    I will probably be watching Last Resort and recording BBT all season, since I don’t and won’t watch TaaHM. I thought that it was pretty good, and it was a pleasant surprise to see some of the actors who were in it, since the only stars I’d heard about were Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman. I wasn’t quite in love with Elementary, but I do like Jonny Lee Miller, so will give it time to grow on me.

  9. Amanda says:

    Confirms what everyone knew about Glee. Once they had competition it would start to suffer.

    • Kay Colby says:

      I totally agree! Glee will continue to suffer because it is boring, gimmicky and shallow. That show has lost its quality two seasons ago.
      The Last Resort, on the other hand, is an intensed and powerful show. Andre Braugher’s performance last night was mezmerizing.
      Person of Interest continues to deliver solid storytelling, and I enjoyed Jonny Lee Miller on Elementary.

  10. I am happy Scandal is steady, it’s fans are loyal.

  11. Hana says:

    I really hope ABC gives Last Resort a chance to build an audience. Those who did watch the show are crazy about it. And, the ratings went up in the 2nd half hour.

    My elderly grandma loved Elementary, but I found it too staid.

  12. Come on people! Please watch Last Resort!

  13. beej says:

    I’m thinking that “Last Resort” didn’t do better because the pilot was made available for watching online a month ago. When they air a “new” episode, I know I’ll bother tuning in. It seems like several networks shot themselves in the foot by streaming many of the pilot episodes ahead of time and suffered for it by less than hoped for ratings. Let’s hope the positive word of mouth helps the really good ones. The Pilot for “Last Resort” was really worthy of the first hour of a major motion picture. I hope they can keep the suspense and quality up.

    “Sherlock” was pretty good, but I agree that it’s pretty much another detective show with someone who’s either an excellent observer (“Psych”, “The Mentalist”) or brilliantly quirky that no one ever seems to believe at first (“Perception”). BUT I love Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and the writing wasn’t that bad so it’ll be on my watch list for a while.

    • Hana says:

      Not too sure about that… I know several people who watched the pilot online and told others to watch it this week on ABC. I sat there and watched it again last night, myself

    • Mary says:

      Making pilots available online in advance can help or hurt shows. I watched pilots for The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate before they aired. B&K was not a show I was planning on ever watching but loved the pilot so watched it again live. Whereas TMP I had high hopes for and after watching the pilot that was it, I knew it was not a show for me.

  14. Maria says:

    The POI season premiere was all kinds of good last night. Perfect mix of action, dry humor, and intrigue.

  15. Goku says:

    I love Grey’s Anatomy, but I’m waiting for it’s cancellation. Last season’s finale was awful and yesterday premiere wasn’t really better. It should’ve ended after 8 seasons.
    Also I love Glee and right now it’s so much more interesting than GA. I hope it’ll get at least one more final season.

    • KSM says:

      It’s not getting cancelled with ratings like that and the leads locked up for 2 more seasons.

      • Dexx says:

        KSM, the ratings dictate that it will probably remain but the leads being locked up isn’t an indicator. The leads being locked up means that IF (key word if) the show is renewed they are contractually obligated to remain with the show. If the show for some reason isn’t renewed then everyone goes their separate ways.

    • Areyoukiddingme! says:

      Wait!! All your opinions are worth nothing if you think Glee is better than Grey’s Anatomy! I almost agreed with you there!

  16. Mafer says:

    Glee ratings are suffering for the lack of continuity and coherence writing, they are handling well how to make all this changes and the distruction of major cue couples! as a fan since day 1 of the show I’m tunning off and switching to Grey’s Anatomy…the show I had love for 4 years no longer exist

    • Carl says:

      Pretty much agreed… also, despite all the “Glee it’s about the underdogs!” bombastic speech that RIB likes so much to deliver at all times, the show is filled with pretty ripped guys and zero-sized girls who look like models (btw almost all white), basically the embodiment of what is praised as “popular”… where are the “underdogs”? who was the winner of TGP S2? exactly, the prettiest guy (and the 2 past winners too)… the whole premise of the “inspirational show choir from that middle-west town” is just being used to praise and sell the most superficial and shallow aspects of today’s mass media: the obsession with success, wealth, physical beauty, having the “perfect” boyfriend/girlfriend, where being the meanest b*tch is “cool”, etc… sad and annoying.

  17. Andrea says:

    Scandal really should do better with Greys for a lead in.

    NBC is going to be in serious trouble when the football numbers are taken away.

  18. LCS says:

    I am a Glee fan, not a huge one by any means but it’s actually nice to see them be a little humbled by the competition with Grey’s on Thursdays now. It’s refreshing. Of course, this is coming from someone who watches Grey’s religiously. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see the numbers as the seasons progress. Hopefully Grey’s can hold strong and not take too big of a dip from the premiere.

  19. Patti says:

    I really like Last Resort.

  20. Joe says:

    The last resort is great , too bad the time slot sucks

  21. Rudy says:

    Funny how after the Grey’s finale so many people whined “I’m done with this show, I’m never watching again” and yet the ratings are HIGHER for the premier than they were for the finale. Interesting.

  22. Never in my life have I wanted, based only on the previews, a TV series to fail, like I want Last Resort to fail. I’m not entirely sure why, but every preview, trailer or “featurette” I see for the series just makes me hate its existance, in a “I’m seriously trying to decide if I’m willing to give up Modern Family to boycott ABC” kind of way.

    Its weird, and probably irrational, but that’s where I’m at.

  23. Isabelle says:

    I’m so happy for person of interest, its good to see solid writing still has a place in the mix of reality tv

  24. eridapo says:

    I’m a fan of TBBT and 2.5, but last night I came away thinking that these shows are not breaking any new ground. I was disappointed. Sheldon and Amy were the low light of the episode. Raj should just come out, Penny and Leonard I seen this love plot before in Friends, Sheldon and Amy’s date fell flat, and the running joke with Howards’ mother is getting old. In 2.5, we barely saw Jake. Kutchner is no Charlie for sure, and Cryer’s leach of a character was funny with Charlie but not so with Kutch.

  25. Renee says:

    Yay for Person of Interest! Very happy it did well in ratings. One of the best shows on network TV.

  26. Jo says:

    Loved sjp in glee last night, but with greys back I think all glee fans knew it would fall. Elementary was very dull, and like a generic police drama. I suspect the ratings will fall in future weeks.

  27. Keren says:

    Why do we care so much about the 18-49 demographic?

    • jb says:

      It is the demographic most coveted by the advertisers. They don’t think older people are as likely to buy their products. I think the advertisers have marketing research that says older people are less likely than younger people to switch brands or try something new. Although, I do think there are a lot of older people who have more disposable income than people in their 20s or 30s.

      • Simon Jester says:

        @jb – That’s exactly right. Older people may have more disposable income, but are set in their ways and less likely to be persuaded by advertising. I’m not going to give up my Quilted Northern just because my TV says Charmin is better, dammit! ;-)

        • eridapo says:

          I don’t think that is true… Sure I will say that is the case for most house hold brands, but for other types of products I don’t think people are set in their ways. If you look at Technology, many of the names you hear did not exist a decade ago. If they did, their products change so fast that after year or two it is antiquated.. Thus brand loyalty has no meaning.

          The marketing idea of Brand loyalty was developed when companies like Kodak, Xerox, and RCA prevailed, Where are those companies now. Did you know about Samsung or LG a decade ago. NO. Even now, there are new global companies that will be bringing their brands and products to the US (like Haier and the Like). Even in household products, new brands will emerge and establish names will disappear..

          Today you should be advertising to all consumers because consumers now days have no loyalty whatsoever. If they did, people would still be buying magazines at the news stand then getting their info on an internet site which was launch less than five years ago (Huff. Post or Drudge)

  28. Alan says:

    i would be willing to bet that a decent portion of the elementry viewers were people curious about how the show would stack up against the one they ripped off, err i mean took inspiration from. can practically garuantee a big fall off next week, conservative estimate of 25% drop

    • Simon Jester says:

      @Alan – The last time SHERLOCK was on PBS, it set a ratings record of 3.2 million people. By contrast, 13.2 million watched ELEMENTARY. But you think a “decent portion” of the viewers for the latter also watched the former? Ha ha ha ha! :-D

      • Alan says:

        lets be fair here it gets aired on pbs months after its initial airing in the uk a lot of people would probably have watched it online through some means or another so i reckon those viewing figures arent really acurate for americans. plus that 3.2 million you quoted is around 25% of elementry’s viewers and if they all found it to be pointless and derivative then i would be proved right

  29. Emily says:

    Good. I can’t explain the feeling, but I irrationally want Glee to fail. And I’m saying this as an former avid Grey’s Anatomy fan that stopped watching last season, yet still watches Glee regularly for no justifiable reason.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      hahaha. I have shows like that, for sure, where I’m like…why am I doing this to myself? Why am I still watching this? I must go into a shame eating spiral for watching this crap. I have no justifiable reason for watching either Grey’s or Glee, but yet, I do. I try to tell myself that I stick with Glee for the music, and Grey’s just to laugh at its over-the-topness, but those are horrible reasons to give my time to those shows. One day I’ll learn. One day.

  30. Erika says:

    That show “Elementary” was so bad, I couldnt finish watching it. Muffled talking, fast walking while talking, the acting is awful by both, but especially the female lead.

  31. Mia says:

    I thought the TBBT premiere was great. I loved that they didn’t make any major changes or anything. Hope the ratings stay up!

  32. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Whoever wasn’t watching the season finale of Louie really missed out! I think that’s going to be Louis C.K.’s Emmy submission next year. It nearly approached the Duckling episode with how touching it was at the end. Never have I rooted for a character to do as well in life as much as I do Louie. It’s life affirming to see him succeed, and it’s balls-out funny to see him fail. Oh my gosh, that part with him trying to fix the doll. It just kept going, and I just kept laughing harder and harder until he started crying, and then I was crying I was laughing so hard.
    .
    i watched The Mindy Project yesterday too. I finally got that off my DVR. TVLine, you made a great call on that show, it was wonderful! I loved it! I’m so sorry they stole Chris McKenna and Matt Warburton away from Community though.

  33. Ally Oop says:

    Last Resort is awesome and I sincerely hope it gets moved to a different timeslot–preferably WEDNESDAY. Thursday night, particularily the 8 and 9 pm hours, are too jam-packed. My favourite shows now on TV are Grey’s Anatomy, Last Resort, Revenge, Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Hart of Dixie and Vampire Diaries–4 of 8 are on Thursday and 3 are in the same freakin’ timeslot. The timeslot conundrum isn’t really a problem for most people in this dvr/timeshift age but I know it matters when in comes to network’s preference for live ratings. I hope ABC gives Last Resort a chance.

  34. Rain says:

    I just don’t understand all the complaints about time-slots. With DVRs, who is watching shows when they actually air?!

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