"CSI" got murdered in the ratings Thursday and the Nielsen police have identified a snarky yet cute couple going by the alias "Jim and Pam" as possible suspects in the grisly butchering of the venerable crime franchise.
NBC’s well-promoted hourlong episode of "The Office" (4.5/12 in adults 18-49) teamed up with ABC’s usual time period winner "Grey’s Anatomy" (5.3/13) to send CBS’s "CSI" (3.4/9) to its lowest-rated episode ever in the demo (tied with the show’s season finale in May).
Ratings watchers can’t recall "CSI" finishing third in its Thursday timeslot vs. original, regularly scheduled series competition before– though MoJoe’s Nielsen moles are still checking on that. We’ll update when we know for sure.
It was a different story in total viewers, with "CSI" (14.63 million) edging out "Grey’s (13.79) and trouncing "The Office" (9.1 million). The crimesolvers on CBS also edged out NBC’s honeymooners in adults 25-54.
Elsewhere in the ratings circus Thursday:
–ABC’s "Flash Forward" (3.0/9, 9 million) lost another 19 percent of its demo audience week-to-week. It still ranked second in the timeslot– and first in adults 18-34– but Alphabet executives clearly want this show to stabilize, soon. (Or, possibly, for baseball season to be over– now.)
"Grey’s Anatomy" (5.3/13) and "Private Practice" (3.7/10) were off 13 percent and 20 percent vs. last week.
–CBS’s "Survivor" (3.4/10) was down 8 percent but regained sole possession of first in adults 18-49 and had its biggest total audience of the season (11.73 million). At 10 p.m., "The Mentalist" (3.2/9, 14.17 million) is proving to be very compatible with its "CSI" lead-in.
–The good news for NBC at 8 is that the regular time period premiere of "Community" (2.0/5, 5.1 million) improved by 18 percent over "SNL Weekend Update Thursday". But the show was down 31 percent from its 9:30 p.m. Thursday ratings last week, and finished a distant fourth in the timeslot (and fifth among women 18-49, behind CW’s "Vampire Diaries").
At 8:30, "Parks and Rec" (2.2/6) ticked up 10 percent to its best numbers of the season.
As for the aforementioned "Office," it had its best demo number since March and its biggest overall audience in about a year. It also won the hour in adults 18-34.
The Jay Leno/Future of Television Watch Sponsored by the Department of State: 1.7/5. 4.8 million viewers. Up from last week but the young folks who watched "The Office" couldn’t flee fast enough. These numbers show "Leno" doesn’t seem to get much of a boost from NBC’s comedy lead-in and instead has its own audience.
–Hey, look at Fox’s "Bones" (2.8/8): It improved 4 percent in the demo and came within a nose of beating ABC in the hour. In the much tougher 9 p.m. slot, "Fringe" (2.1/5) lost another 9 percent, not to mention much of whatever buzz and momentum the show had built up last spring and over the summer.
The combo of the two shows has helped boost Fox 39 percent in adults 18-49 vs. last season.