CBS Delivers With Thursday Comedy Block

Big Bang, The Millers Soar; CW’s Vampire Diaries Beats ABC, NBC

With four weeks of data on the books, CBS’ new two-hour Thursday night comedy block appears to be one of the season’s few unambiguous success stories.

Anchored by The Big Bang Theory, the chuckle stack averaged a hearty 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demo, practically trebling NBC’s parallel block (1.1).  Big Bang once again was Thursday night’s most-watched and highest-rated show, delivering 17.8 million viewers and a 5.2 in the demo.

Freshman comedy The Millers looks to be a candidate for a quick back-nine order, drawing 12.3 million viewers and a 3.2 rating, up two-tenths of a point from a week ago. The Robin Williams vehicle The Crazy Ones was flat with a 2.4, while veteran Two and a Half Men was the lone comedic weak spot, drawing a series-low 2.1.

UPDATE: Not only did CBS give a full series order to The Millers, but it also has committed to 22-epiosde runs for The Crazy Ones and its new Monday night comedy Mom.

Sophomore drama Elementary also stumbled to an historic low, drawing a 1.5 in the 10 p.m. slot.

NBC’s Thursday night woes showed little sign of abating, as not a single show delivered so much as a 1.5 in the dollar demo. Parks and Recreation led off the night with a 1.3, up a tenth from last week’s rating, while flailing newcomers Welcome to the Family (0.9), Sean Saves the World (1.1) and The Michael J. Fox Show (1.2) together were down 35 percent versus the year-ago lineup.

Season-to-date, NBC can lay claim to one big new hit (The Blacklist is averaging a 3.3 rating); the rest of the slate is in dire straits. Welcome to the Family is now averaging a 0.9 rating, Sean is drawing a 1.2 and MJF a 1.7. Meanwhile, the Wednesday night drama Ironside has delivered a 1.1 over the course of its first three episodes.

UPDATE: NBC on Friday announced it has canceled Welcome to the Family and Ironside.

ABC also has a non-starter on its hands in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. After bowing Oct. 10 to a disappointing 1.7 in the demo, the spinoff nosedived 30 percent to a 1.2.

While ABC’s 8 p.m. time slot continues to give it fits, Wonderland’s performance doesn’t appear to have hurt the rest of the lineup. Warhorse Grey’s Anatomy slipped a tenth to a 2.7, while Scandal shows little sign of cooling off, drawing a strong 3.3 rating. Scandal’s half-hour numbers were particularly interesting; the episode grew from a 3.2 at 9-9:30 p.m. to a 3.5 in the final 30 minutes.

Scandal also was the night’s biggest draw among women 18-34 (4.2).

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Fox’s coverage of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series drew 8.57 million viewers and a 2.5 rating.

While the bearded batsmen of Boston were busy eking out a win against Detroit, the CW was draining the blood of its 8 p.m. rivals. The Vampire Diaries beat ABC and NBC on the hour, scaring up a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo and a 1.3 among the 18-34 set. TVD was up 30 percent in the 18-49 demo and boasted its best overall deliveries (2.93 million viewers) since Jan. 17.

At 9 p.m., the series premiere of the costume drama Reign drew 1.98 million viewers and a 0.8 in the 18-49 demo. Reign put up its best numbers with women 18-49 (1.1) and 25-54 (1.1). When compared to last season’s time slot average, Reign improved 33 percent among the 18-49 crowd and grew 40 percent in adults 18-34 (0.7).