CBS attracted 8.3 million people for its winter-season kick-off of the Regis Philbin-hosted game show Million Dollar Password on Thursday night, which is 22 percent less than its series premiere audience in June. On a night featuring only three fresh shows, Password was still the third-most watched hour of programming, though, and CBS’ other offerings grabbed No. 1 and 2 to hand the net a Thursday sweep: 12.6 million watched a rerun of CSI, and 10.1 million stayed awake for Eleventh Hour (that’s just 800,000 less than the audience for Hour‘s last new episode). Fox was the night’s “freshest” network, with new eps of Secret Millioniare (6.4 million viewers, 200,000 shy of the Wednesday episode’s performance) and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which gently jiggled the intelligence of 6.9 million viewers — a healthy 20 percent gain over last week’s new episode.
The CW’s repeats of Smallville and Supernatural performed at about the same level — 2.1 million viewers apiece — that their new episodes usually do. But reruns airing on ABC and NBC did not fare as well, ranging from 3.8 million viewers for NBC’s Kath & Kim to 5.5 million for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which typically gets 14 or 15 million viewers for a new episode. (It seems kinda silly to be crunching numbers for all these RERUNS on the last work day before Christmas week. Santa Annie’s got some eggnog drinking games to get started, so how’s ’bout I just finish this paragraph already? Ho, ho, ho! To all, a good night.)