"The Big Bang Theory" returned to the CBS lineup after two weeks off for the NCAA Tournament, and viewers were thrilled to see Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and the gang. The CBS sitcom was the most-watched show Thursday nationally and locally, and it was tops in the 18-to-49 age group.
"Big Bang" averaged 17.2 million viewers, according to updated ratings, and led CBS to victories in total viewers and young adults. CBS also aired "Two and a Half Men" (13.7 million), "Person of Interest" (14.6 million) and "Elementary" (10.5 million).
The prime-time averages in total viewers: CBS with 13.6 million, Fox with 7.9 million, ABC with 6.9 million, NBC with 3.3 million and The CW with 870,000 for reruns. Fox's "New Girl" had 4.8 million fans and upstaged NBC's soon-to-end "Office" with 3.4 million.
In Orlando, "The Big Bang Theory" drew 284,800 viewers with an episode about Sheldon, Leonard and Raj fighting for tenure.
Rounding out the top five were two CBS dramas: "Person of Interest" with 184,700 viewers and "Elementary" with 137,300. The next three series in the rankings were "Grey's Anatomy" with 129,500, "Scandal" with 108,900 and "New Girl" with 91,200.