Notes: As you might imagine, the big story last night was the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate between the current veep Joe Biden, and the GOP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan. Over 51 million people watched the debate live on TV, which is way down from 2008's debate between Biden and Sarah Palin, which drew over 70 million. To provide further perspective on the numbers, the first Obama/Romney debate last week drew about 68 million viewers.
Outside of the debate, CBS won both the demos and total viewer crowns for the third straight Thursday night. The Big Bang Theory took a sizable hit from last week, but still destroyed every other non-debate show in all metrics. Two and a Half Men dropped a negligible amount. Last Resort fans should start worrying, as week three saw another big drop for the freshman drama. By most accounts, the show is quite good, too bad more people aren't tuning in.
The X-Factor dropped slightly from last Thursday's broadcast. 30 Rock & Up All Night both continue to pull down dreadful numbers, as NBC Thursday continues to steadily hemorrhage viewers. With 30 Rock and The Office both ending, I wouldn't be surprised if NBC junks the idea of a Thursday night comedy lineup altogether next season. Continuing a great two days for the CW, The Vampire Diaries debuted to a bigger audience than last year's premiere, and even topped last night's well-rated Arrow premiere. Beauty and the Beast also did well in its premiere, coming close to matching Arrow in the demos. That stat is especially impressive considering BATB was the only fresh programming to go head-to-head with the debate.
Key: Broadcast Network - Show Name - 18-49 Rating - 18-49 Share - Total Viewers In Millions
CBS - The Big Bang Theory (N) - 4.5 - 13 - 14.23
FOX - The X Factor (N) - 2.9 - 8 - 8.43
ABC - Last Resort (N) - 1.6 - 4 - 6.89
CW - The Vampire Diaries (Season Premiere) - 1.6 - 5 - 3.18
NBC - 30 Rock (N) - 1.3 - 4 - 3.40
CBS - Two and a Half Men (N) - 3.5 - 10 - 11.35
NBC - Up All Night (N) - 1.1 - 3 - 2.88
CBS - Vice Presidential Debate - 2.1 - 5 - 10.39
NBC - Vice Presidential Debate - 2.1 - 5 - 6.77
FOX - Vice Presidential Debate - 2.0 - 5 - 5.34
ABC - Vice Presidential Debate - 1.8 - 4 - 6.90
CW - Beauty and the Beast (Series Premiere) - 1.2 - 3 - 2.78
NBC - Post-Debate Coverage - 2.0 - 5 - 6.70
CBS - Post-Debate Coverage - 1.6 - 4 - 5.93
ABC - Post-Debate Coverage - 1.4 - 4 - 6.06
Source: Nielsen Media Research