TV ratings: 'The Apprentice' opens weak, CBS leads Thursday

donald-trump-celebrity-apprentice-320.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010

The return of the non-celebrity "Apprentice" got off to a pretty poor start Thursday, failing to draw even 5 million viewers against mostly rerun competition. The CW's lineup, meanwhile, dipped some from its premiere last week, and viewers followed "The Big Bang Theory" to its new home.

CBS ended the night on top, averaging 7.9 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/9 share among households. ABC (5.75 million, 3.7/6) came in second, followed by NBC (4.3 million, 2.8/5). The CW's 3.2 million viewers and 2.0/4 was good enough for fourth, topping FOX's 2.45 million and 1.7/3.

CBS was the only network to pass the 2.0 mark among adults 18-49, drawing a 2.2 rating for the evening. ABC finished second in the demo at 1.8. NBC, 1.4, took third, followed by The CW, 1.3, and FOX, 0.7.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

CBS:
"The Big Bang Theory" reruns - two episodes (7.8 million viewers, 5.0/9 households)
ABC: "Wipeout" rerun (6.5 million, 3.8/7)
NBC: "The Office" reruns - two episodes (3.5 million, 2.4/4)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" (3 million, 1.9/3)
FOX: "Fringe" rerun (2.35 million, 1.6/3)

18-49 leader: "The Big Bang Theory" (2.2)

9 p.m.

CBS:
"The Big Bang Theory" reruns - two episodes (8.3 million, 5.3/9)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" rerun (4.9 million, 3.2/5)
NBC: "The Apprentice" season premiere (4.55 million, 2.9/5)
The CW: "Nikita" (3.4 million, 2.1/4)
FOX: "Fringe" rerun (2.5 million, 1.7/3)

18-49 leader: "The Big Bang Theory" (2.6)

10 p.m.

CBS:
"The Mentalist" rerun (7.7 million, 5.1/9)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" rerun (5.8 million, 3.9/7)
NBC: "The Apprentice" season premiere (4.8 million, 3.2/6)

18-49 leader: "Grey's Anatomy" (1.9)

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

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Photo credit: NBC