TV Ratings: 'Bones' Posts Highest-Rated Premiere Since 2008

Bones - TV Still: "The Memories in the Shallow Grave" Season Seven premiere - H - 2011
Beth Dubber/FOX

Bones returned for its seventh season and the beloved Fox drama didn't miss a beat.

Bones (10 million total viewers, 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 demographic) grew 22 percent in the coveted demo from last season's premiere and posted its highest-rated opener since season four, which launched Sept. 3, 2008. Notably, ABC's Grey's Anatomy topped Bones at 9 p.m. in 18-49 (3.5 vs. 3.3).

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That boost was most likely due to the newly renewed The X Factor (11.3 million, 3.6), which aired its first elimination episode of the season. The reality competition series retained 97 percent of last week's audience on Thursday and was down one-tenth from Wednesday's live performance show. In its 8 p.m. time slot, only CBS' The Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement topped it in the hour (4.4 vs. 3.6). Fox overtook CBS for the slim victory in the demo with an average rating of 3.4 in primetime, while the latter notched another win for viewership (12.9 million).

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NBC's Thursday comedies all grew from last week, the most significant being Community (3.9 million, 1.7), which improved 21 percent. Parks and Recreation (3.9 million, 2.0), The Office (6 million, 3.1) and Whitney (4.3 million, 2.1) all rose, including the lone drama on the lineup Prime Suspect (4.5 million, 1.2). With the network rerunning Prime Suspect throughout the week in an effort to increase sampling, the ratings boost was just 9 percent.

CBS' The Big Bang Theory (15.5 million, 5.1), meanwhile, matched its Thursday high in adults 18-49 and was the night's most-watched and highest-rated program. That boosted Rules of Engagement (11.9 million, 3.7), which hit highs in viewership and 18-49. The Mentalist (13.5 million, 2.9) rose 16 percent and drew its highest rating in the demo since early April and posted its biggest audience since the season opener. Person of Interest (11.7 million, 2.7) remained steady.

ABC continues to burn off the rest of its Charlie's Angels (5.4 million, 1.2) episodes. And though the reboot remained steady from its last original two weeks ago, it still matched the canceled series' lowest-rated episode. Grey's Anatomy (9.3 million, 3.5) dipped 5 percent, while Private Practice (6.8 million, 2.6) grew 8 percent.

The CW's Vampire Diaries (3.3 million, 1.5) matched last week's season high in both total viewers and the demo. The Secret Circle (2.3 million, 0.9) was steady.