Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Tops ‘Idol’ to Give CBS Edge for Night; ‘Awake’ Drops 20%

Fox and CBS tie for first overall in key demo, with CBS taking the lead in total viewers

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" scored a decisive ratings win Thursday night to give the network a slight edge over Fox and "American Idol," while NBC's new drama "Awake" dropped from its already soft series premiere, according to preliminary numbers.

CBS tied with Fox in the key adults 18-49 demographic with an average 3.6 rating/10 share, but took the win in total viewership with an average 14.5 million total viewers. Though down slightly from its last original airing two weeks ago, "Big Bang Theory" at 8 took the top ratings spot with a 5.1/15 in the demo, and averaged 15.2 million total viewers. Following a "Big Bang" repeat at 8:30, "Person of Interest" at 9 climbed 10 percent in the demo versus its last original two weeks ago, taking a 3.4/9, with 15.8 million total viewers. (It the second-most watched show behind "Idol.") "The Mentalist" was also up slightly, receiving a 2.8/8 in the demo and drawing 13.8 million total viewers.

Fox took second place in total viewership with an average 12.1 million. "Idol" at 8 dropped 11 percent in the demo from last Thursday's Top 13 reveal for a 4.8/14 in the demo. "Idol" was the most-watched show of the evening with 17 million total viewers. "The Finder" — which will soon be moving to a Friday night time slot — was up 15 percent in the demo from its last original two weeks ago with a 2.3/6. It had 7.3 million total viewers.

NBC took third place in the demo with an average 1.8/5, and fourth place in total viewership with an average 4 million. "30 Rock" at 8 posted a 1.4/4 in the demo and 3.5 million total viewers, while "Parks and Recreation" at 8:30 rebounded from last week's season low, growing 12 percent in the demo with a 1.9/5 and taking 3.8 million total viewers. "The Office" at 9 drew a 2.6/7 in the demo and 5 million total viewers, while "Up All Night" at 9:30 posted a 1.7/4 in the demo and 3.5 million total viewers. The evening ended discouragingly for the network, with its new drama "Awake" dropping 20 percent from last week's series opener, receiving a 1.6/4 in the demo and 4.3 million total viewers.

ABC ran repeats throughout the evening, but nonetheless took third place in total viewership with an average 4.2 million total viewers. The network was fourth place in the demo, with an average 1.4/4.