Originally posted on Variety:

CBS’ Thursday comedy lineup, in the absence of football competition for the first time this season and continuing to face softer programming than usual on ABC and Fox, posted their best scores in months and teamed with “Elementary” to lift the net to a dominant victory in all key demos.

Fox’s “American Idol” makes its Thursday debut next week, which figures to make life more difficult for the competition.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged a monster 5.6 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 20.1 million viewers overall in kicking off the night — up about 4% from last week for the show’s best demo delivery in 11 months and its largest overall audience ever for a regularly scheduled episode. “Big Bang” was Thursday’s No. 1 broadcast in every category from kids 2-11 (1.9/7) to adults 55 and older (11.2/20).

It led into the…

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