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TV Ratings: Slouching CMA Awards Wins Thursday for ABC

The three-hour country music trophy show topped the night but was down 21 percent in the demo from last year's Wednesday telecast to its lowest level ever.

46th Annual CMA Awards Band Perry Performing - H 2012
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

ABC's broadcast of the 46th annual CMA Awards earned a 3.8 rating with adults 18-49 and 13.6 million viewers Thursday, giving the network a nightly win by both measures. Still, both numbers were all-time lows for the country music event, down 21 percent among adults 18-49 and 17 percent in total viewers from last year's Wednesday outing.

Although NFL pre-emptions in San Diego could alter CBS' showing when final numbers come in, The Big Bang Theory was up a tenth of a point for a season high of a 5.1 rating with adults 18-49. Two and a Half Men was down 3 percent to a 3.6 adults rating, while Person of Interest (3.0 adults rating) and Elementary (2.4) were up 3 and 9 percent, respectively. CBS averaged a second-place 3.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers.

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The X Factor had another two-hour episode on Fox, pulling a 2.3 rating with adults 18-49. That's even with last week's special Tuesday outing but down six-tenths of a point from the show's last Thursday episode, which also averaged 6.2 million viewers.

NBC had a special encore of The Voice from 8 to 10 p.m., subbed in to avoid original competition with the CMAs. Rock Center With Brian Williams aired at 10 p.m., rising 18 percent to a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49. The network averaged a 1.3 in the demo and 4.1 million viewers.

On The CW, The Vampire Diaries pulled its biggest numbers since the season premiere, up 15 percent to a 1.5 rating with adults 18-49. Beauty and the Beast took a steep drop at 9 p.m. for an even 0.6 in the demo. The network averaged a 1.1 adults rating and 2.4 million viewers.

Univision scored a 1.6 adults rating for the night.