8:50am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Two and a Half Men' Finale Swells, 'Odd Couple' Starts Strong
Two and a Half Men signed off on a high note Thursday night, albeit shy of the ratings highs it hit in its heyday. With an average 3.1 rating among adults 18-49, the show was up by almost 50 percent from the week prior — and at its best showing in the key demo since May 2013.
Total viewership also swelled, up 41 percent to 13.2 million — many of them likely tuning in to see if former star Charlie Sheen would return. Still, the Chuck Lorre comedy lacked the momentum that How I Met Your Mother had when it went out last season, hitting series highs in the process.
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CBS' big offering for the night was The Big Bag Theory, off just a shade from its last original for a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49. It led into the premiere of The Odd Couple remake, which scored a strong 3.1 rating and 13.6 million viewers in its first half hour — coming in just shy of Black-ish as the best comedy debut of the season. Its test will be whether or not it can hold enough of its formidable lead-in in the coming weeks. As for Elementary (1.5 adults), it was steady despite the vaulted lead-in.
The trio of Grey's Anatomy (2.5 adults), Scandal (3.1 adults) and How to Get Away With Murder (2.8 adults) were all steady with last week — though Grey's actually grew by two-tenths of a point.
American Idol (2.1 adults) lost two-tenths of a point on Fox, and Backstrom (0.9 adults), losing that momentum from last week, dropped back three-tenths of a point in the face of the Men finale.
At least it did not fall as low as The Slap. The second outing of NBC's event series dropped three-tenths of a point to just a 0.8 rating in the key demo. It was followed by a steady Blacklist (1.7 adults) and a slightly boosted Allegiance (0.7 adults), up two-tenths.
The Vampire Diaries (0.7 adults) and Reign (0.4 adults) held on The CW.