Ratings: Vampire Diaries Returns Up, Ties Last Resort; Beauty and Beast Matches Secret Circle

The Vampire Diaries was looking lively on Thursday night, kicking off Season 4 with 3.5 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating — up some 15 percent from its previous opener and tying ABC’s freshman drama Last Resort in the demo.

Leading out of that — and facing the vice presidential debate broadcast by the Big 4 — The CW’s Beauty and the Beast debuted to 3.16 mil and a 1.3, up a few viewers from The Secret Circle‘s own launch in the time slot last fall and matching its demo rating.

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Versus Secret Circle‘s May finale, Beauty was up more than 200 percent, and it was off just a tenth in the demo from Nikita‘s 2010 debut in the Thursdays-at-9 spot.

Elsewhere this debate-impacted Thursday night:

* The aforementioned Last Resort (7 mil/1.6) slipped another 13 and 16 percent week-to-week.

* The Big Bang Theory (13.8 mil/4.2) was down 14 percent in the demo, while Two and a Half Men (11.2 mil/3.4) dipped two tenths.

* NBC’s 30 Rock (3.82 mil/1.4) gained some viewers while holding steady in the demo; Up All Night (3.5 mil/1.2) was up in audience but down two tenths in the demo.

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* The X Factor (8.3 mil/2.9) dipped 9 percent week-to-week.

What were you tuned into this Thursday night?