By James Hibberd
Updated November 04, 2011 at 03:40 PM EDT
Beth Dubber/Fox

If they ever bump into each other at the Fox commissary, David Boreanaz should buy Simon Cowell lunch. Fox’s Bones returned bigger in the ratings Thursday night, its season debut aided by an X Factor lead in.

Airing at 9 p.m., Bones (10 million viewers, 3.3 adults 18-49 rating) bounced 22 percent compared to its 8 p.m. premiere last year. This number matches what Bones averaged after American Idol in the spring (despite Idol offering a bigger push). It also did 57 percent better than Fringe in the slot last fall. Bones beat out CBS’ holding-steady Person of Interest (11.7 million, 2.7) in the hour, but not ABC’s slightly rising Grey’s Anatomy (9.3 million, 3.5). X Factor (11.3 million, 3.6) was on par with its last Thursday episode a few weeks ago.

With baseball off the grid, many shows perked up in the ratings last night. CBS came very close to toppling Fox in the demo for first place and won 8 and 10 p.m. Big Bang Theory (15.5 million, 5.1) and Rules of Engagement (11.9 million, 3.7) tied or hit season highs, both up about 12 percent. At 10 p.m., The Mentalist (13.5 million, 2.9) rose 16 percent to a season high.

In addition to Grey’s, ABC had Charlie’s Angels (5.4 million, 1.2) — yup, it’s back, for a very limited time only — and Private Practice (6.8 million, 2.6), the latter up 8 percent.

NBC posted gains across the board compared to last week’s lineup facing the World Series: Community (3.9 million, 1.7) was up 21 percent, Parks & Recreation (3.9 million, 2.0) up 11 percent, The Office (6 million, 3.1) up 7 percent, Whitney (4.3 million, 2.1) up 5 percent and Prime Suspect (4.5 million, 1.2) up 9 percent.

The CW’s Vampire Diaries (3.3 million, 1.5) matched last week’s season high, while Secret Circle (2.3 million, 0.9) was stable.