“Big Bang” gets bigger; “Crazy Ones” scores

CBS' "The Crazy Ones"
CBS’ “The Crazy Ones”

But 36 percent ratings drop out of Big Bang is concerning

The first major Thursday night ratings skirmish of the season took place with the return of two back-in-the-day TV icons battling it out: Robin Williams in CBS’ The Crazy Ones and Michael J. Fox in his own self-titled new sitcom for NBC.

The first hour of primetime saw complete domination by CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which scored a 5.5 adult 18-49 demo rating and then jumped 11 percent in the second half-hour with a 6.1 rating and 20.44 million viewers, a series high. Boy oh boy, this number is going to be a tough act for debuting Millers to follow next week.

As for the also-rans, X Factor scored a 2.1 rating, while a repeat of the series premiere of Agents of Shield edged out NBC’s hour-long season premiere of Parks and Recreation 1.4 to 1.3. Why does NBC continue to think this show would work opposite Big Bang? Welcome To The Family premieres after Parks next week, opposite Millers.

In the second hour of prime, CBS’ The Crazy Ones was sampled, winning its time period a 3.9 adult demo rating and 15.52 viewers, easily beating the hour-long premiere of NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show, which earned a 2.2 rating, finishing behind ABC’s two-hour season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, which did a potent 3.4.

Crazy Ones was down 36 percent from its Big Bang lead-in – and in Chicago (where Crazy is set) as Lewis Lazare noted, lost viewers in its second half-hour in Nielsen overnight households. On the other hand, it did outperform the season premiere of Person Of Interest, the program in the Thursday slot last year. But Crazy Ones could have, and should have done better given the hype. From a creative standpoint, the series needs to focus on the personal relationships in the agency instead of the ups and downs of the advertising business – it simply isn’t interesting material for a sitcom, regardless who stars in it. The trailer for next week’s show looked absolutely dreadful.

Despite debuting with a 2.2, for the first half-hour, the second half-hour of The Michael J. Fox show drew a 2.1 – a drop of only 5 percent, which isn’t really bad. Another positive note is Fox grew 69 percent from its Parks lead-in. Yours truly has yet to sample Fox, but I haven’t heard good things about it.

As for the rest of the evening, Two and A Half Men dropped from Crazy Ones lead-in, but still put up a 2.9 rating, and 11.59 viewers. Glee finished fourth in the second hour of prime with a 2.0 rating, but should rise considerably when an episode dedicated to the late cast member Corey Monteith airs in a few weeks, so this gets a pass.

CBS’ Elementary beat NBC’s Parenthood in the last hour of prime, 2.1 to 1.6. But both shows are going to get a rude wake-up call next week when red-hot Scandal returns.

A matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams drew a 3.2 rating and 7.6 million viewers for the NFL Network, down from the 4.0 rating last week.