3:06pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Big Bang Theory' Sets Records With Biggest Episode Ever
Final Nielsen returns for Thursday night have The Big Bang Theory breaking two records with its first episode of 2013.
Not only do Live+Same Day returns have the CBS comedy setting an even higher bar for total viewers (19.25 million), the episode topped its record haul among adults 18-49. The 6.1 rating bests Thursday's fast affiliate showing by a tenth of a point. (The 6.0 adults record was set on Feb. 8, 2010, and matched the next month.)
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And though a lack of broadcast competition no doubt played some part in the big returns, this has been an especially strong season for the comedy. Big Bang Theory previously set a record with 17.63 million total viewers for its recent Nov. 15 episode.
Through December, the sixth season of Big Bang Theory is averaging a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day and a 7.1 rating with seven days of DVR usage. In total viewers, the numbers are 16.2 million and 20.3 million, respectively.