TV Ratings: 'Big Bang' Dominates Barbara Walters, President Obama and Bear Grylls

The CBS sitcom pulls better numbers than the rest of the broadcast networks combined, easily winning an otherwise sleepy night.
Michael Yarish/CBS

It doesn't exactly have any issues winning Thursdays on a regular basis, but The Big Bang Theory proved to be especially strong this week — facing a lot of modest holiday specials on the rest of the broadcast networks.

Though likely inflated a tad thanks to a few Thursday Night Football preemptions later in the half-hour, the CBS sitcom averaged a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.4 million viewers. Nothing on the other networks came close, and CBS neighbors Life in Pieces (2.5 adults), Mom (2.0 adults), 2 Broke Girls (1.7 adults) and Elementary (1.2 adults) were all the closest competition. Those series also stand to see adjustments once the NFL is taken out of the equation.

Among the many specials in the fray, most of them repeat holiday broadcasts, the two big offerings were Barbara Walter's 2015 installment of her 10 Most Fascinating People franchise and President Obama's appearance on Running Wild With Bear Grylls.
 
The commander in chief's visit to the NBC survivalist series did nothing to goose ratings. Despite months of a hype, the special Running Wild landed at 10 p.m. with just a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.5 million viewers. Walters did marginally better in the key demo, averaging a 1.0 rating over the course of 90 minutes, though the ABC special did earn a solid 6.2 million viewers.

Fox had a new episode of World's Funniest Fails. It pulled in a 0.5 rating in the key demo and just 1.8 million viewers.

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