9:29am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Summer Starts Softly With Red Nose Day and '500 Questions'
And so it begins. Summer got off to a sleepy start, at least on broadcast, with barely any Thursday offerings breaking the 1.0 mark in the key demo.
The night's original telecasts actually all came in behind CBS repeats, with The Big Bang Theory, Life in Pieces and Mom all outperforming the competition from ABC, NBC and Fox.
Game show 500 Questions returned to ABC, somewhat softer than last summer, averaging a 0.9 rating in the key demo and 5 million viewers over the course of two hours. In its defense, the show did outrate the rest of the night's unscripted offerings — NBC's Strong (0.7 adults), Fox's American Grit (0.5 adults) and the quiet return of NBC charity event Red Nose Day.
The Red Nose Day Special, in its second year in the U.S., averaged a 0.6 rating in the key demo and just over 2.1 million viewers between 9 and 11 p.m. More importantly, the event has already raised north of $31.5 million for children in need.
The only other original scripted program for the night was Fox's Bones. It pulled a steady 0.8 rating with adults 18-49.