TV ratings: NFL and Peyton Manning have a big opener Thursday

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peyton-manning-nfl-2013-opener-rtgs.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013

The opening night of the NFL season delivered big ratings for NBC Thursday, dominating the night even though the start of the game was delayed until after 9 p.m. ET due to lightning. It didn't hurt that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had a career night, throwing seven TD passes in Denver's defeat of the Baltimore Ravens.

NBC scored the best metered-market ratings on a Thursday night since its coverage of the Olympics on Aug. 9, 2012. Elsewhere Thursday, "Big Brother" rebounded from last week's down episode with improved numbers across the board on CBS, and "Wipeout" and "Rookie Blue" were up some in adults 18-49 for ABC.

Pending updates for the live broadcast, NBC averaged 23.2 million viewers and a 13.7 rating/22 share in households in primetime. CBS (5.9 million, 3.8/6) finished a distant second. ABC (3.8 million, 2.3/4) came in third, and FOX (1.6 million, 1.1/2) took fourth. The CW trailed with 677,000 viewers and a 0.4/1.

NBC scored a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49 -- more than double the combined total of the other four English-language networks. CBS was the best of the rest at 1.5, followed by ABC, 1.1; FOX, 0.5; and The CW, 0.2.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

NBC:
NFL pregame (17.9 million viewers, 10.8/18 households)
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory" rerun (7.3 million, 4.7/8)/"Two and a Half Men" rerun (6.3 million, 4.0/7)
ABC: "Wipeout" (3.7 million, 2.3/4)
FOX: "Glee" rerun (1.8 million, 1.3/2)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" rerun (771,000, 0.5/1)

18-49 leader: NFL pregame (6.9)

9 p.m.

NBC:
NFL special - Ravens/Broncos (26.7 million, 15.8/25)
CBS: "Big Brother" (7.1 million, 4.4/7)
ABC: "Wipeout" (3.4 million, 2.0/3)
FOX: "New Girl" rerun (1.4 million, 1.0/2)/"The Mindy Project" rerun (1.4 million, 1.0/2)
The CW: "Beauty and the Beast" rerun (583,000, 0.4/1)

18-49 leader: NFL special - Ravens/Broncos (10.4)

10 p.m.

NBC:
NFL special - Ravens/Broncos (25 million, 14.7/24)
ABC: "Rookie Blue" (4.2 million, 2.8/5)
CBS: "Elementary" rerun (3.85 million, 2.6/4)

18-49 leader: NFL special - Ravens/Broncos (10.4)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images