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'Private Practice' Ratings Surge for Assault Episode

Ratings for ABC's Private Practice surged a whopping 44% Thursday night following last week's dramatic cliffhanger.

The episode, "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" is garnering praise from critics for its handling of a character's sexual assault (played by KaDee Strickland).

Practice (10.2 million viewers, 3.9 preliminary adults 18-49) had its best rating since last January and easily won the 10 p.m. hour. Practice topped The Mentalist (14.3 million, 2.9) by its largest margin of victory ever, as well as beat NBC's steady The Apprentice (4 million, 1.4). Practice lead-in Grey's Anatomy (11.7 million, 4.3) rose 10%.

Several shows climbed last night as Fox went back to its regular lineup without the World Series. CBS' The Big Bang Theory (13.9 million, 4.6) rose to its highest rating since its season premiere and helped lead CBS to win the night overall.

Big Bang was the evening's top-rated program, up 10%, and likewise boosted $#*! My Dad Says (10.9 million, 3.4) to its highest number since the start of the season. CSI (13.9 million, 3.3) was stable.

NBC's Community (4.6 million, 1.9), after rising thanks to a healthy lead-in last week, sank back when returned to 8 p.m. NBC also aired 30 Rock (5.3 million, 2.4), The Office (7.6 million, 3.7) and Outsourced (5.8 million, 2.7).

Fox had Bones (9.1 million, 2.5) and a modest episode of Fringe (5 million, 1.8), down 10%.

CW's Vampire Diaries (3.6 million, 1.6) and Nikita (2.5 million, 0.9) dipped a tenth each.