“The X Factor” fell victim to another high-rated comedy as the two-episode season premiere of “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS emerged as network TV’s biggest draw Thursday night.
“Big Bang,” starring Emmy winner Jim Parsons, got a big bang at 8/7c and 8:30/7:30c with new back-to-back episodes. The first one drew 14.061 million viewers and the second one attracted 14.646 million – for a one-hour average of 14.353 million. The tally helped CBS launch its new 9 p.m. (8c) drama “Person of Interest” – starring Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson – and propel the network to a Thursday night win.
For “Person of Interest” and the season premiere of “The Mentalist” at 10/9c, the overnight Nielsen audience totals were 13.218 million and 13.359 million, respectively.
Elsewhere in the Thursday night ratings – the fourth night of the new fall season:
For its part, Night Two of the four-hour premiere of Simon Cowell’s “American Idol” clone “The X Factor” averaged 12.068 million over its two hours. In its first hour against “Big Bang,” “The X Factor” drew 11.425 million. A night earlier, “The X Factor” came up against another comedy – ABC’s Emmy Award-laden “Modern Family,” which also topped the Simon Cowell talent-competition show.
Over on ABC, the two-hour season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” averaged 10.318 milion viewers from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (8-10c). We can remember a time when “Grey’s” usually drew twice that many – in the neighborhood of 20 million viewers an episode – back in its heyday. Meanwhile, the premiere of the new “Charlie’s Angels” at 8/7c had 8.739 million viewers. ABC came in third on the night – after No. 1 CBS and No. 2 Fox – with an average viewership of 9.792 million.
NBC was fourth with the premiere of its new Thursday night slate – a combination of returning series and two new ones. Here’s how the NBC shows scored: “Community,” 3.982 million at 8/7c; “Parks and Recreation,” 4.108 million at 8:30/7:30c; “The Office,” with newcomer James Spader and without Steve Carell, 7.63 million (about even with last season) at 9/8c; the new “Whitney,” starring comedian Whitney Cummings, 6.709 million at 9:30/8:30c; and the new “Prime Suspect,” starring Maria Bello, 5.997 million at 10/9c.