Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Tops, But Fox Wins Night With Expanded ‘Idol’

"Community," "Parks and Recreation" and "1600 Penn" hit lows; "Zero Hour" slides from premiere

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" remained steady on Thursday night to draw the night's best numbers, but Fox walked away with a ratings win for the night with a special two-hour "American Idol."

Meanwhile, NBC's Thursday night comedy slate wasn't helped by the Leslie/Ben wedding episode of "Parks and Recreation." The sitcoms hit a number of series lows, according to preliminary numbers.

"Idol," which filled Fox's primetime slate from 8 to 10 p.m., drew a 3.9 rating/10 share in the key 18-49 demographic, up 8 percent from last week's one-hour edition, and had 13.5 million total viewers, a 10 percent climb from last week. That put the network in first place in ratings and a narrow second place in total viewers.

CBS grabbed second in ratings and first in total viewers with a 3.3/9 and just over 13.5 million. "The Big Bang Theory" at 8 posted a 5.4/16 and had 17.3 million total viewers, putting the show at the top of the heap in both categories.

"Two and a Half Men" at  8:30 drew a 3.9/11, tying "Idol" for second place, and took 13.4 million total viewers, while "Person of Interest" at 9 had a 2.9/8 with 14.1 million total viewers. "Elementary" the following hour had a 2.3/6 and took 11 million total viewers.

Univision grabbed third place in ratings and fourth in total viewers with a 2.5/7 and 5.8 million.

ABC came in fourth in ratings and third in total viewers with a 2.2/6 and 7.2 million. The new drama "Zero Hour" at 8, which got off to a disappointing start with its premiere last week, fell another 21 percent for a 1.1/3 and took 5.3 million total viewers, while "Grey's Anatomy" the following hour inched up 7 percent for a 3.0/8 with 8.5 million total viewers. "Scandal" at 10 pulled even with last week for a 2.7/7 and took 7.6 million total viewers.

NBC took fifth place in ratings and total viewers with a 1.2/3 and 3.2 million, hitting a series of lows with its comedy roster. "Community" at 8 inched down 8 percent to a series low of 1.1/3 and had 3 million total viewers, while "Parks and Recreation" at 8:30 hit a series low, sliding 13 percent to a 1.3/4 with 3 million total viewers. A second "Parks" episode at 9 pulled a 1.4/4 with 2.9 million total viewers.

The freshman comedy "1600 Penn" dipped 9 percent from its last original airing two weeks ago, posting its lowest ratings so far with a 1.0/3 and taking 2.3 million total viewers. A "Law & Order: SVU" repeat followed.

At the CW, "The Vampire Diaries" at 8 saw big gains, jumping 30 percent to a 1.3/4 — besting NBC's comedies and "Zero Hour" — and 25 percent in total viewers with 2.9 million. With "Beauty and the Beast" the following hour — which had a 0.6/1 and took 1.6 million total viewers — the network averaged a 0.9/2 and 2.2 million total viewers.