Returning to reassert its dominance over a night it already rules even in reruns, CBS had a typically strong night with the season premieres of its lineup, scoring the most total viewers and the biggest share of the 18-49 demo with new episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, and Person Of Interest, plus the debut of Elementary. In the case of Big Bang, it remains a close second only to Modern Family in that demo with its 4.8 rating, but it's still the top show in total viewers with 15.3 million, uniting young and old alike with the universal humor of nerds doing nerd things. Notably, the same can no longer be said of the humor of men doing men things: The Ashton Kutcher Era of Two And A Half Men experienced a 67-percent drop from last year's season premiere, pulling in a mere 3.5 rating without the boost of audiences tuning in to see Charlie Sheen die.
Those are still respectable numbers, of course, especially when compared—as they always must be—to NBC's comedy lineup, which experienced a promising uptick from last week's dismal premiere that is quickly made less promising once you factor in football broadcasts in Cleveland and Baltimore inflating the numbers. But until they're revised, the network can celebrate the minor victories of SNL's Weekend Update Thursday (1.7 rating), Up All Night (1.8 rating), The Office (2.4 rating), and Parks And Recreation (2.1 rating), all of which enjoyed ratings increases anywhere from one-tenth to four-tenths of a point—for right now, at least.
Of the night's two new dramas, CBS' modern-day-Sherlock-that-isn't-Sherlock procedural Elementary was the clear winner, actually building on its other modern-day-Sherlock-but-they-use-computers procedural Person Of Interest and its 2.9 rating, with Elementary scoring a solid 3.1 rating and 13.2 million viewers total. But ABC's submarines-and-social-commentary thriller Last Resort didn't fare horribly either, riding its critical praise to a decent-for-its-historically-doomed-timeslot 2.2 share and right around 9 million viewers, delaying for now the day when those same critics can pull out their "Is Last Resort sunk?" puns.
Perhaps they can find a way to wedge them into their assessment of Glee, which continued to fall off from its X Factor lead-in to score a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49, making for a 14-percent drop from its already-diminished premiere. And given that ABC managed to avoid a similar fate for its own, even-longer-in-the-tooth returning drama Grey's Anatomy—which returned from last season's cliffhanger to a strong 4.3 rating and 11.5 million viewers—perhaps Glee should consider killing off some of its characters in a horrible plane crash.