TV Ratings: 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Private Practice' Grow on Night of Declines

Grey's Anatomy - TV Still: Dark Was the Night - H - 2011

ABC's Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were the only primetime offerings to improve in the ratings on Thursday, when the majority of broadcast telecasts saw dips. Even so, Fox ended up winning the night with the steadiness of The X Factor  and Bones.

The latest elimination episode of X Factor (10.2 million total viewers, 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 demographic) went down 11 percent. Notably, X Factor grew 20 percent in its final half hour compared to the first (3.6 vs. 3.0), an expected trend for copmetition series. Bones (8.8 million, 2.7) sank 18 percent from its solid season opener last week and against the midseason finale of Grey's Anatomy. Fox averaged a 3.0 rating in the key demo and ranked second on the night in total viewers (9.5 million) behind CBS (10.9 million).

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CBS continued to start off the night with a bang, literally. The Big Bang Theory (15.7 million, 5.2), though down 4 percent, was easily Thursday's most-watched and highest-rated program -- even outdrawing veteran comedy Two and a Half Men on Monday night. Big Bang's strong showing boosted Rules of Engagement (11.8 million, 3.6), which tied X Factor in the demo for its half hour and lured 500,000 viewers more. Repeats of Person of Interest and The Mentalist followed, the latter beating out a new Prime Suspect and winning its 10 p.m. hour in viewers. CBS (2.8) snuck by ABC (2.7) for second in the demo.

Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice seemed to be the exception to the rule, improving double digits from their most recent outings. After ABC aired the final episode of Charlie's Angels (5.1 million, 1.1), down 8 percent for a series low, Grey's Anatomy (11.2 million, 4.0) and Private Practice (7.7 million, 2.9) proved that even in their aging states they can still draw an audience.

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NBC placed fourth on the night, with its lineup either flat or going downward. Community (3.5 million, 1.5) dipped 12 percent, Parks and Recreation (3.6 million, 1.8) hit a series low and The Office (5.9 million, 3.0) dropped 6 percent. Whitney (4.3 million, 2.1) and Prime Suspect (4.8 million, 1.2) held steady.

The CW's midseason finale of The Vampire Diaries (3.3 million, 1.4) was the show's second most-watched episode of the season, only behind last week's episode. The Secret Circle (2.2 millon, 0.8) dropped off a tenth in the demos week to week and was down slightly in viewers.

Fox -- 3.0 
· The X Factor: 10.2 million, 3.3      

· Bones: 8.8 million, 2.7
CBS -- 2.8        
· The Big Bang Theory: 15.7 million, 5.2       
· Rules of Engagement: 11.8 million, 3.6
· Person of Interest (R): 9.1 million, 2.0
· The Mentalist (R): 10 million, 1.9
ABC -- 2.7        
· Charlie's Angels: 5.1 million, 1.1     
· Grey's Anatomy: 11.2 million, 4.0
· Private Practice: 7.7 million, 2.9
NBC -- 1.8      
· Community: 3.5 million, 1.5
· Parks & Recreation: 3.6 million, 1.8 
· The Office: 5.9 million, 3.0
· Whitney: 4.3 million, 2.1
· Prime Suspect: 4.8 million, 1.2
The CW -- 1.1     
· The Vampire Diaries: 3.3 million, 1.4     
· The Secret Circle: 2.2 million, 0.8