Thursday ratings breakdown: 'Bang' goes CBS

big-bang-theory-wolowitz-32.jpgSo, that "Big Bang Theory" scheduling move worked out OK.

Better than OK, actually -- CBS' decision to move the comedy from Monday to Thursday night resulted in a big ratings win for the network. The show's Season 4 premiere Thursday (Sept. 23) delivered a shade over 14 million viewers and a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49 (both figures are up a tick from the fast nationals) and dominated its time period.

The big performance for "The Big Bang Theory" also helped "$#*! My Dad Says" overcome a flood of bad reviews and score 12.6 million viewers and a 4.0 in the 18-49 demo. The two comedies combined to outdraw last year's premiere of "Survivor: Samoa" in the hour, and they beat the hour's second-place finisher ("Bones") by more than 3 million viewers.

The night's other poorly reviewed new comedy, "Outsourced," also did a credible job of holding onto its lead-in. It drew 7.5 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49, retaining 88 percent of the total audience and 82 percent of the 18-49 rating for "The Office" (8.5 million, 4.5).

Other notes from premiere Thursday:

- "CSI" and "Grey's Anatomy" fell into their familiar pattern at 9 o'clock, with the former leading in total viewers (14.7 million to 14.3 million for "Grey's") and the latter scoring a better 18-49 rating (5.4 vs. 3.4). Both shows, incidentally, were down significantly from their premieres last season, and a guest appearance by Justin Bieber didn't make "CSI" any younger -- though it did lead to the search terms "what channel is csi on" and "what channel is cbs" ranking high on Google Thursday night.

- FOX's lineup of "Bones" and "Fringe" was right in line with its performance last season. "Bones" drew 9.9 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49, while "Fringe" scored 5.7 million people and a 2.1. If last season's form holds, "Fringe" will also see its numbers rise significantly when the first round of live-plus-7 ratings are released in a couple weeks.

- ABC's new drama "My Generation" performed poorly with just 5.2 million viewers and a 1.6 in the demo. About the only positive spin the network could put on it was that it outperformed the May sweep average for "FlashForward," which was then on its last legs.

- What we seem to be learning this week is that The CW much has a more or less completely separate audience from the Big Four nets -- their shows have fluctuated slightly in the crush of premiere week, but they've been more or less steady with their initial airings earlier in September. On Thursday "The Vampire Diaries" actually went up in viewers (3.6 million viewers) and The C-dub's target audience of adults under 35 compared to last week. "Nikita" was off a tenth of a point in the 18-34 demo but held the line in viewers (3.2 million).

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Photo credit: CBS