ESPN Tops All. CBS #1 In Broadcast; ITV #1 In The UK.

ESPN’s telecast of the ‘Sugar Bowl’ grabbed the attention of most viewers on Thursday evening as the game with #11 Oklahoma defeated the 17 point favorite, #3 Alabama 45-31. The telecast averaged a 9.3 overnight rating, slightly less than the Rose Bowl. Birmingham led all markets with a 50.1 rating. Oklahoma City was the second highest rated market with a 34.7 followed by Tulsa (33.5 rating), New Orleans (23.9), Nashville (18.7), Austin (17.8), Knoxville (17.6), Memphis (17.4), Atlanta (16.6) and Jacksonville (16.2). Final ratings will be posted with they are available.

CBS pulled in 10.85 million viewers to win the first Thursday of 2014 on broadcast. At 8P, the Tiffany Network did what it always does on Thursday, begins with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and it proved to be the biggest draw of the new year with 18.93 million viewers. The combined rival broadcast networks in that half hour could only pull in 8+ million. What a way to begin an evening. At 830P, ‘The Millers’ drew 11.55 million. At 9P, ‘The Crazy Ones’ finished with 8.24 million viewers and at 930P, ‘Two and One-Half Men. drew 8.55 million viewers. At 10P, ‘Elementary’ built upon all of that and finished with 8.92 million. It crushed the latest ABC premiere program.

ABC, finishing a great distance behind CBS, at 8P premiered ‘The Taste’ and had 4.74 million in its initial two hour episode. At 10P, the highly anticipated ‘The Assets’ stumbled out of the gate and could only draw 3.78 million viewers for The Alphabet Network.

NBC is battling for its life. The Peacock Network brought out the premiere of this season’s ‘Community’ at 8P and drew 3.74 million. At 830P, another episode of ‘Community’ pulled in 3.03 million. But it was at 9P, with ‘Sean Saves The World’ that the network began to take its usual dive. Sean didn’t save the world and drew only 2.77 million and then at 930P, ‘The Michael J Fox Show’ dropped to a low of 2.55 million. At 10P, ‘Parenthood’ tried mightily to bring the network back up but could only attract 3.99 million viewers. It is time to pull the plug on both ‘Sean Saves The World’ and ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’. No sense dragging out this process. Neither of these shows will find a magic bullet to allow them to draw huge numbers.

Univision gave it its all, behind ‘Lo Que la Vida Me Robó’ as it drew 3.202 million for the evening, close behind NBC.

FOX continued its holiday rerun scheduling and began at 8P with ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and drew 2.05 million. Veteran program ‘Bones’, which is now regularly scheduled for Friday, at 9P had 3.04 million viewers, a million viewer increase over ‘Hollow’.

The CW had a disaster of an evening. At 8P ‘The Vampire Diaries’ in a rerun drew 840,000 and at 9P, ‘Reign’ pulled in even less with only 790,000 viewers. Help?

The morning hype from the competing networks was hilarious. NBC spun ‘Community Matches Last Year’s Finale’ while ABC was spinning ‘The Taste Beats NBC’s Comedy Block’. Such is life in a land where content is king and neither of these networks had any of that on Thursday.

For the record, CBS finished with 10.85 million viewers while ABC was next by quite a distance. It could only draw 4.418 million. NBC battled Univision for the next spot but finished 3.338 million while Univision was on it tail with 3.202 million viewers. FOX finished with 2.549 million and Telemundo drew 1.5 million. The CW had 815,000 viewers.

Across The Pond:

ITV pulled out a classic sitcom ‘Birds of a Feather’ at 830P made an impressive programming decision on Thursday (January 2), as it drew 7.54 million viewers (30.7%), with an added 277,000 viewers (1.1%) tuning in on +1. At 9P, ‘Benidorm’ returned for a new series with 5.99 million viewers (24.2%) and an additional 653,000 (3.5%) on +1.

BBC One had ‘Celebrity Mastermind’ pull in 4.82 million viewers (21.9%) at 7P, while at 8P the documentary ‘Dolphins: Spy in the Pod’ drew 4.90 million (20.4%). At 9P, ‘Silent Witness’ returned for a new series with 6.10m (24.6%).

BBC Two at 730P had ‘University Challenge’ with 2.84 million (12.4%). At 9P, Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster’ drew 2.26 million (9.1%). At 10P, ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ had 1.91 million viewers (9.6%).

Channel 4 at 8P presented ‘Restoration Man’ and 1.48 million (6.1%) were able to view it. At 9P, ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Holiday’ had 1.24 million viewers (5.0%). At 10P, ‘Secrets of the Scammers’ drew 1.28 million (6.7%).

Channel 5 at 8P had ‘Too Fat To Fly’ and 1.03 million viewers (4.3%) watched it. At 9P, ’50 Shocking Facts About Diet & Exercise’ drew 926,000 (4.2%).

No matter where you were watching television, people were…

Switching Channels!

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