March 16, 2012 9:02am PT by Philiana Ng
TV Ratings: 'Community' Return Makes Splash, 'Missing' Has Mediocre Debut
The returns of several broadcast shows, the premiere of international CIA drama Missing and NCAA basketball made for a lively Thursday.
Fox won the night in the adults 18-49 demographic, averaging a 3.4 rating in primetime on the strength of the American Idol results show (15.5 million, 4.5). A repeat of the Touch pilot (8.7 million, 2.2), which had a sneak preview Jan. 25, placed second in the 9 p.m. hour.
CBS aired first-round action from the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament instead of its usual Thursday programming. The network averaged 4.6 million viewers and a 1.7 rating, placing fourth on the night, just ahead of the CW.
ABC's Missing (10.6 million, 2.0), starring Ashley Judd, had a soft launch, though its debut was just one-tenth below that of canceled Charlie's Angels in the same time slot. Though the demo rating was OK, the network touts that the hourlong series posted its best viewership number in its time period since January 2011. A Grey's Anatomy (9.7 million, 3.0) original ticked down slightly, but Private Practice (7 million, 2.2) rose.
Without the usual heavy competition from CBS, NBC saw the biggest jumps. The anticipated return of Community (4.9 million, 2.2) improved drastically and posted the network's best numbers in the time period since January 2011. 30 Rock (4 million, 2.0) jumped as well, but The Office (4.9 million, 2.3) dipped. Up All Night (3.6 million, 1.7) remained steady. Ambitious drama Awake (5.1 million, 1.5) might have steadied itself out.
The CW's Vampire Diaries (2.6 million, 1.2) returned down double digits from its most recent original in February, though Diaries topped Missing in the 8 p.m. slot among adults 18-34 and women 18-34. The Secret Circle (1.6 million, 0.7) was flat.