Season 8 of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” kicked off with -- you guessed it -- a bang.
Back-to-back episodes of the highly anticipated sitcom topped Monday night TV ratings and elevated CBS to the No. 1 most-watched network, according to Nielsen.
The 8 p.m. season premiere drew in roughly 17.7 million viewers and earned a rating of 5.3 in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic.
A second original episode of the show, which aired at 8:30 p.m., posted slightly higher numbers, with roughly 17.9 million viewers and a rating of 5.4 in the key demo.
Also on the network, the premiere of “Scorpion” was the third-most-watched program of the night overall. The lead-in from “The Big Bang Theory” helped the adventure series draw in 14 million viewers. It earned a rating of 3.3 in the key demo.
The finale of “Under the Dome” earned a rating of 1.8 in the key demo, down 36% from last season’s finale. It drew in 7.5 million viewers.
The network averaged 13 million viewers. However, with a rating of 3.5 in the key demo, it fell second to NBC with the desired demo.
NBC’s “The Voice” -- with new judges Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani -- returned at No. 3 in the key demo. With a rating of 3.9 in the key demo, the show was down 24% from last fall’s season premiere. Overall, the show drew in roughly 12.7 million viewers.
“Blacklist” was also down 11% from its debut last fall. It earned a rating of 3.4 in the key demo and averaged 12.4 million viewers.
The network was No. 1 in the key demo with a rating of 3.7. It averaged 12.6 million viewers.
Meanwhile, Fox’s “Gotham” premiered strong, averaging about 8 million viewers and a rating of 3.2 in the key demo. The show helped the network deliver its highest-rated 8 p.m. fall series debut since “Prison Break” in August 2005.
“Sleepy Hollow,” which opened strong last year, earned a rating of 2.0 in the key demo for its Season 2 premiere.
Fox was third in the key demo with a rating of 2.6.
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