UPDATE, 2:50PM: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory has proven a bigger bang than ever. In final Thursday ratings, the comedy has adjusted upwards to hit even higher new series highs with 19.25 million viewers and a 6.1/18 rating. In fast nationals this morning, Thursday’s Big Bang Theory had already garnered a series high of 18.98 million and a rating of 6.0/17.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:49 AM: The winter break is definitely over at CBS. The network saw a full slate of original shows return strong on Thursday after their holiday hiatus. The Big Bang Theory (6.0/17) came back with a bang, delivering its largest audience ever with 18.98 million viewers. The science geek comedy’s previous viewership high was 17.63 million, set on November 15. Now in its sixth season, the series also matched its all-time high in the adults 18-49 demographic, up 11% from its last original show December 13. The riches were spread among the rest of CBS’ primetime last night: Two And A Half Men (4.6/12) had a season high in viewers, with 15.39 million, and in the demo. The other Lorre comedy was up 12% from its December 13 show. Now in its second season, Person Of Interest (3.4/9) hit a series high in viewers with 16.14 million and matched its series high in 18-49, up a solid 17% from its last original three weeks ago. At 10 PM, Elementary (2.5/7) had its biggest audience since its September 27 debut with 11.36 million. The modernized Sherlock Holmes was up 9% from its last original show on December 13. CBS won the night among overall viewers (14.895 million) and in adults 18-49.
Fox’s Howie Mandel-hosted reality series Mobbed was back for a second consecutive night of double episodes at 8 PM (1.0/3) and 9 PM (1.2/3). The former was even with Wednesday night’s 8 PM airing, with the latter up 9% from Wednesday’s later show.
ABC was all repeats on Thursday with Nashville (0.7/2) at 8 PM and back-to-back Scandal encores at 9 PM (0.7/2) and 10 PM (0.9/3). NBC also had a full night of encores with 30 Rock (0.8/2), Up All Night (0.8/2), The Office (0.9/2), Parks And Recreation (0.7/2), and Rock Center With Brian Williams (0.8/2). The CW had repeats of The Vampire Diaries (0.4/1) and Beauty And The Beast (0.3/1).
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.