Thursday Premiere Ratings: A Bigger Bang Theory, Modest Start For Angels, Suspect

ABC’s reboot of Charlie’s Angels premiered to less than heavenly ratings Thursday, while NBC’s remake of Prime Suspect failed to collar a sizeable audience. The X Factor, meanwhile, held steady and The Big Bang Theory got bigger.

Angels attracted 8.7 million viewers and a 2.1 rating in the prized adults 18-49 demo, a marked improvement over the premiere of My Generation last fall but an underwhelming number given all the hype. Night Two of Simon Cowell’s X Factor dipped slightly to 12.1 million viewers and a 4.3 demo rating, while Prime Suspect drew a lackluster 6 million sets of eyeballs and a 1.9 demo rating.

Meanwhile, you don’t need a PhD in astrophysics to know that The Big Bang Theory is on freakin’ fire. The CBS comedy’s one-hour fifth-season premiere was the top-rated show of the night in total viewers and 18-49 (14.4 million, 5.0).

Here’s a glance at the early returns hour-by-hour…

8 pm | Big Bang led the hour, followed by the first hour of X Factor and Charlie’s Angels. NBC’s Community and Parks and Recreation combo ranked forth, with the former drawing nearly 4 million viewers and a 1.7 (down from last season’s 5 mil and 2.2) and the latter pulling in 4.1 million viewers and a 2.0 (down from the 6 mil, 2.6 that 30 Rock did in the slot last year). Vampire Diaries placed fifth with 2.5 million and 1.2 (down from 3 mil and 1.4 for last week’s premiere).

9 pm | The premiere of CBS’ Person of Interest led the hour among total viewers with 13.2 million, but its 3.1 demo rating put it behind both The X Factor and the two-hour return of Grey’s Anatomy (10.3 million, 4.1). Grey’s was down roughly 24 percent compared to last year. NBC’s The Office — under new boss Andy Bernard — returned in decent shape with 7.6 million and a 3.9 rating, down only slightly from last September’s 8.4 million and 4.3 under Steve Carell’s Michael Scott. (That noise you hear is NBC and Ed Helms breathing a sigh of relief.) The debut of Whitney at 9:30, meanwhile, did OK with 6.7 million and a 3.2. (The now-canceled Outsourced opened last year with a slightly higher 7.4 million and a 3.5). Week Two of The CW’s Secret Circle averaged 2 million viewers and a 0.9, off sharply from last week’s 3 million-1.3.

10 pm | The return of The Mentalist was tops among viewers (13.3 million, down nearly 20 percent from its ’10 premiere), but ceded the demo crown to the second hour of Grey’s. Prime Suspect finished last in both measures.