'Big Bang Theory' Sets Records With Biggest Episode Ever

The Big Bang Theory The Egg Salad Equivalency Jenga - H 2012
Michael Yarish/CBS

The Big Bang Theory The Egg Salad Equivalency Jenga - H 2012

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.