A week after hitting its largest audience and ratings ever, The Big Bang Theory (6.3/19) went bigger last night with new all-time highs. The 8 PM CBS science geek comedy pulled in 19.78 million viewers, exceeding the 19.25 million viewers and 3% better than the 6.1/18 rating the show received January 3. Big Bang wasn’t the only series to hit a new high last night: ABC’s Scandal (2.8/8) was back and burst its previous season high from December 13 with a solid 17% rise from that last original.
Following Big Bang on CBS, Two And A Half Men (4.2/12) slipped a bit from its season high of last week, down 7%. Person Of Interest (3.3/9) dipped 3% from tying its 18-49 demo high December 4. Elementary (2.4/7) was down 8% from last week. With 14.653 million watching, CBS won the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.
Having been previewed on December 17, NBC’s 1600 Penn (1.6/4) had its formal time slot debut last night at 9:30 PM. The White House comedy was down 27% from the preview and 6% from Parks And Recreation‘s prior average in the slot. Earlier in the night, 30 Rock (1.4/4) returned; heading toward its hourlong series finale January 31, the Tina Fey comedy was up 27% from its last original five weeks ago and matched its October 4 debut for a season high in the demo. An encore of the 1600 Penn pilot (1.4/4) followed. Back for the last portion of its final season, The Office (2.2/6) returned Thursday night too. The comedy series was up 5% from its last new show December 6. At 10 PM, Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.1/3) returned with a strong 38% rise from its last original December 20.
ABC kicked off its night with Last Resort (1.2/3), which was up a strong 20% from its last original December 13. That was followed by the return of Grey’s Anatomy (3.1/8), which saw a rise of 7% from its winter finale December 13.
From more multi-night airings last week, Fox aired a special Mobbed (1.2/3) on Thursday. The Howie Mandel hosted hidden camera show was up 9% from last week. Fox ended the night with a repeat of Glee (0.7/2).
On the CW, the 18th annual Critics Choice Movie Awards (0.6/2) pulled in an audience of 1.93 million; the live two-hour show drew its highest rating in all demos since its 2006 broadcast on the WB.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.