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Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Hits Viewership High to Give CBS a Win

Taylor Swift's "X Factor" visit yields a modest bump in key demo

CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" gave a big boost to the network Thursday night, drawing the evening's top numbers while hitting a series high for viewership and helping to push the network to an overall victory, according to preliminary numbers.

CBS had a commanding first place in the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers with a 3.4 rating/10 share and in total viewers with 13.6 million. Growing 8 percent from last week, "Big Bang" at 8 took the night's top ratings with a 5.5/17 — a season high for the show — along with the night's largest audience with 17.4 million total viewers, which is also the show's largest audience ever.

The rest of the network's primetime slate enjoyed modest gains. "Two and a Half Men" at 8:30 drew a 4.1/12 with 14 million total viewers, while "Person of Interest" at 9 posted a 3.1/8 with 14.5 million total viewers. The Sherlock Holmes revamp "Elementary" at 10 grabbed a 2.3/7 and had 10.7 million total viewers.

ABC tied Fox for second place in ratings with a 2.2/6 and took second place outright in total viewers with 6.9 million. Freshman drama "The Last Resort" ticked down 7 percent to a 1.3/4 — and had 5.8 million total viewers, while "Grey's Anatomy" the following hour was also down slightly, taking a 3.1/8 with 8.7 million total viewers. "Scandal" at 10 grew 11 percent from last week, drawing a 2.1/6 with 6.1 million total viewers.

Fox, which came in third in total viewers with 6.3 million, ran "The X Factor" at 8, which featured a special appearance by Taylor Swift and which, perhaps not coincidentally, inched up to a 2.4/7 and grew 16 percent in total viewers for 7.3 million. No such luck for "Glee" the following hour, which dropped 13 percent to a 2.1/5 and had 5.3 million total viewers.

Univision took fourth in ratings and total viewers with a 1.9/5 and 4.6 million.

NBC came in fifth in both ratings and total viewers, posting a 1.4/4 and 3.7 million. "30 Rock" at 8 had a 9 percent bump in the demo, drawing a 1.2/4 and grabbing 3.4 million total viewers, while "Up All Night" at 8:30 dropped slightly to a 1.3/4 and had 3.1 million total viewers.

"The Office" at 9 slid 17 percent to tie a series low of 2.0/5 and drew 4.1 million total viewers, while "Parks and Recreation" at 9:30 had a 1.7/4 with 3.6 million total viewers. "Rock Center With Brian Williams" at 10 grew 10 percent to a 1.1/3 and took 4 million total viewers.