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CBS’ usual Thursday leader The Big Bang Theory slipped in the ratings this week and may have been tied by NBC’s The Office — if some local football coverage in Nashville isn’t inflating NBC’s rating in these early numbers. In any case, several other shows hit season lows as the holiday season sets in.
Big Bang Theory (12.1 million viewers, 3.8 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) was down 12% compared to its last non-holiday performance, with companion series $#*! My Dad Says (9.5 million, 2.7) sinking 10% to a season low. Over on NBC, the stop-motion animation episode of Community (4.7 million, 2.0) was up 5% and 30 Rock (5.2 million, 2.2) was down 4%. A special one-hour The Office (7.6 million, 3.8), which featured Amy Ryan as a guest, was up 3%. NBC also aired part two of the season finale of The Apprentice (4.5 million, 1.8), ranking as the show’s lowest-rated finale yet.
Overall, CBS won the night with its comedies, also airing CSI (13.1 million, 3.0) and The Mentalist (13.4 million, 2.4), the latter taking a hard knock against ABC’s Barbara Walters special and falling to a series low.
ABC ranked second with a competitive night of specials, starting with another telecast of Shrek the Halls (6.9 million, 1.8) and a Disney Prep and Landing special (7.5 million, 2.1). Barbara Walters profiled Oprah Winfrey (13.1 million, 2.9) at 9 p.m., followed by Walters’ annual 10 Most Fascinating People special (12.2 million, 3.2), which won the hour and was steady with last year’s performance.
Fox had a steady Bones (8.8 million, 2.3) and slightly improved Fringe (5.3 million, 1.9).
The CW’s Vampire Diaries (3.1 milllion, 1.3) tied the drama’s lowest adult-demo rating ever, followed by a steady Nikita (2.3 million, 0.8).
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Thomas Brodie Sangster