TV | Inside TV

'30 Rock' live episode posts much-needed gains on Thursday

live-30-rockImage Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCMaybe NBC should schedule a live episode of The Apprentice. Last night’s special live treatment of 30 Rock helped the struggling laugher to post a 43% increase among adults 18-49 versus last week (a 3.0 rating/9 share), according to early estimates. It was oh-so-close to beating CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says in the demo (3.1/9) at 8:30 p.m., but its ratings will likely improve when the final national numbers come out this afternoon – to say nothing of the DVR results that are due two weeks from now.

Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.3 million viewers.

30 Rock averaged 6.6 million viewers, finishing in third place among eyeballs for the timeslot behind Dad (10.1 million) and the second half of Bones on Fox (9.8 million).

The Tina Fey comedy still wasn’t NBC’s highest-rated show for the night: That distinction continues to belong to The Office, which averaged a 3.7/10 in the demo and lured 7.3 million viewers. The hype over 30 Rock certainly boosted interest in Steve Carell’s show, however: The Office was up 7% in the demo versus last week. But the NBC audience dropped off substantially at 9:30, with the new comedy Outsourced continuing to hobble along with only 5.4 million viewers and a 2.5/7 in the demo (which ties it with its lowest-rated episode so far this season). And The Apprentice averaged a 1.3/4 and an audience of….oh, bollocks, what does it matter? You’re not watching, anyway.

CBS finished the night in first place among viewers (13.5 million) and adults 18-49 (3.3/10). Love or hate some of The Shat’s stale jokes on Says, that comedy is definitely working; it’s even up 7% versus last week in the demo. Big Bang Theory won its timeslot among 18-49 and viewers (12.4 million) while CSI continued to attract the most eyeballs at 9 (14.2 million).

Kudos to Shonda Rhimes and her Grey’s Anatomy on ABC!  Though the drama’s 18-49 ratings aren’t nearly as strong as they used to be (the original episode at 9 p.m. last night earned a 4.5/12, its lowest-rated fall telecast ever), it continues to win its timeslot in the important demographic as well as other categories, like women and persons 12-34. It averaged 11.9 million.

Private Practice was up 3% in the demo at 10 p.m. but was beaten by The Mentalist (3.0/9 versus 3.3/9). The Simon Baker drama also won its timeslot in viewers (14.9 million). Overall, ABC finished second on Thursday among 18-49 (2.9/8) and in viewers (8.1 million). NBC was third in 18-49 (2.4/7) but fourth in viewers (5.2 million), and Fox was fourth in the demo and third in viewers (7.3 million). The CW was in repeats. 

Originally posted October 15 2010 — 12:34 PM EDT

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