TV Ratings: Robin Williams Tops Michael J. Fox in Thursday's Comedy Battle
UPDATED: CBS moves sitcoms into 9 p.m. to strong results, while "The Big Bang Theory" tops all with an improved return and "Grey's Anatomy," "Glee," "Two and a Half Men" and "Elementary" all drop double digits.
One of the bigger races of premiere week took place during Thursday's 9 p.m. hour, when new comedies from heavyweights Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox went head-to-head.
Fast National returns give Williams' The Crazy Ones (CBS) a clear advantage with a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49. The highest-rated comedy of the season thus far, it also ranks as the most-watched series premiere across the board. The freshman sitcom owes a bit of gratitude to one of the best lead-ins on broadcast TV, and the night's de facto champ, The Big Bang Theory. The comedy brought in a 5.3 adults rating in its first half hour and a 5.8 adults rating in its second half hour, both up from last year's premiere (5.0 adults).
Two and a Half Men (2.9) lost some steam without its Big Bang lead-in. The show was down six-tenths of a point from last season's opener for its lowest premiere to date. Airing at 9:30 p.m., Elementary did not benefit from a comedy lead-in. The drama was down a full point from last year's series premiere, averaging a 2.1 rating in the demo and losing the hour to Grey's Anatomy.
CBS topped the night with adults 18-49 (3.7 rating) and total viewers (14.2 million).
On NBC, the one-hour opener of The Michael J Fox Show took a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 in both of its two telecasts, building on its rather modest lead-in from Parks and Recreation (1.3 adults). The Michael J. Fox Show matched last year's comparable premiere in the time period from The Office. Next week will see the series airing just at 9:30 p.m., against Two and a Half Men, when The Sean Hayes Show debuts.
Parenthood moved into its new night with a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. The drama was down three-tenths of a point from its Tuesday return in 2012 -- but double the score of last fall's time slot holder Rock Center With Brian Williams. NBC placed fourth among the Big Four, averaging a 1.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers.
The two-hour season premiere of Grey's Anatomy (3.4 adults) aired on ABC following an encore of Tuesday's big SHIELD opener (1.4 adults). Grey's Anatomy was down roughly 30 percent from last season. Next week it cedes the 10 p.m. hour to Shonda Rhimes' younger drama, Scandal. ABC averaged a 2.7 adults rating and 7.9 million viewers for the night.
There was also a lot of attention Glee, airing its first episode since the sudden death of star Cory Monteith. The actor's absence, unmentioned until episode three, did not move the dial. Glee returned to a 2.0 adults rating, down 1.1 points from last season's premiere. Its X-Factor lead-in was steady with last week's 2.0 adults rating, giving Fox an average 2.0 adults rating for the night and 5.8 million viewers.
The CW had encores, averaging a 0.3 adults rating and 856,000 viewers.
Univision took in a 1.5 adults rating and 3.7 million viewers for the night, while Telemundo pulled a 0.5 rating and 1.2 million viewers.