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Fall 2010 ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' blasts off in new timeslot, 'The Apprentice' sinks to a new low

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insider-ratingsImage Credit: Kevin T. Gilbert/NBC; Bob D’Amico/ABC; Monty Brinton/CBSAll that promotion about Big Bang Theory’s big move to Thursdays paid off for CBS: The comedy posted a 37 percent increase among adults 18-49 last night versus the debut of the first half of Survivor: Samoa last September and dominated in all of the major demographics. Buoyed by the Emmy win for star Jim Parsons last month, the sitcom easily won its timeslot at 8 p.m. and averaged a stunning 13.95 million viewers opposite heavy competition from the other broadcast networks.

The rest of CBS’ lineup faired equally as well. The debut of $#*! My Dad Says posted a slight gain over Samoa among 18-49 and averaged 12.4 million viewers. It also won its timeslot in viewers and key demographics. And the Justin Bieber-boosted premiere of CSI attracted the biggest audience at 9 p.m. with 14.5 million and even posted a rare win among female teens. With The Mentalist averaging 15.25 million viewers at 10, CBS easily won the night in viewers (14.3 million) and adults 18-49.

ABC finished second for the night among adults 18-49 and viewers (9.4 million), thanks to a particularly strong performance by the return of Grey’s Anatomy at 9 p.m. Though it was down 21 percent versus last season’s premiere among adults, it still won its timeslot in the demographic and averaged 14 million viewers. Private Practice also ruled in demos like women 18-49 and persons 12-34 and averaged 9 million.

I’ve saved ABC’s worst news for last: The debut of My Generation at 8 p.m. only pulled in 1.6/5 in 18-49 and a mere 5.21 million viewers. That’s a 61 percent drop in the demo versus the premiere of FlashForward last year. Why’d the network kill that drama again?

Poor Fringe on Fox. The critically-beloved series was down 30 percent versus last season’s premiere among adults 18-49 (2.1/6) and only averaged 5.82 million viewers. Still, that’s right in line with what it was averaging last season, when the high-concept drama premiered a week earlier than the rest of the competition (thus the drop in 18-49). Bones was also down from last season’s premiere and averaged 9.7 million.

Over on NBC, the critically-beloved comedies 30 Rock and The Office posted gains among adults and averaged 5.84 million and 8.39 million, respectively. Both shows won their timeslots among adults 18-34 (though 30 Rock tied with Says). Community averaged 5.01 million viewers and the new Outsourced at 9:30 p.m. picked up 7.43 million viewers and won in key male demos. And just when it couldn’t get any worse for The Apprentice, it did: The reality show only averaged a 1.4/4 rating among adults 18-49 — it’s lowest-rated telecast ever. It only averaged 3.80 million. Big mistake going back to average Joes after all those celebrity editions, Mr. Trump.

On the CW, The Vampire Diaries posted gains among adults 18-34 and viewers (3.6 million) versus last week. It won its timeslot in female teens and even beat the debut of My Generation in adults 18-34 and women 18-34. Nikita was flat week-to-week in viewers (3.2 million).

Overall, Fox finished the night in third place among viewers (7.8 million), ahead of NBC (5.73 million) and the CW (3.39 million).

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