Between Fox's "American Idol" and NBC's iHeart Radio Music Awards, Thursday night television seemed dominated by wannabe pop-chart-toppers and those who have already made it big, but CBS emerged on top in the ratings with its comedy lineup.
The iHeart Radio Music Awards, the latest entry in a long list of galas to honor pop stars, drew 5.4 million viewers overall and a rating of 1.7 in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Those numbers aren't spectacular for an awards show, but they were better than NBC typically does with its Thursday comedies.
The show, brought into existence by radio giant Clear Channel and Ryan Seacrest Productions, also managed to beat "American Idol" among those key young adults. "Idol," now in its 13th season, sank to a new Thursday low of 1.5 in 18-49, in which a ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers.
Fox's other shows had mixed ratings. "Hell's Kitchen" fell 6% to a 1.6, compared with last week, while "Surviving Jack" notched a 1.0, flat with a week ago.
CBS led the way with the night's highest-rated show "The Big Bang Theory," which pulled in 15.7 million viewers overall and a rating of 4.4 in 18-49, about flat with a week ago. "The Millers" and "Two and a Half Men" were both down double-digit percentages, while the new "Bad Teacher" earned a 1.5, down 29% from its premiere last week. "Elementary" was flat at a 1.6.
Thursday's episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," featuring Sandra Oh's departure and Isaiah Washington's return, got a boost, averaging 8.7 million viewers total and a 2.6 in 18-49. In the advertiser-coveted demographic, it was up 13% from its last episode, marking its best result in nine weeks.
ABC's new "Black Box" decreased just 13% from last week's premiere, for a 1.3.
The CW had some bragging rights. Even though "Vampire Diaries" fell in 18-49 to a 0.7, it gained 18% among its target audience, 18-to-34-year-old women. Adding in "Reign," CW had its most-watched Thursday night in six weeks, with 1.62 million viewers, though it was flat in key demos.