Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW
Lynette Rice
October 12, 2012 AT 04:18 PM EDT

The last time I led with a CW show in a ratings report was … well, never, but the debut of Beauty and the Beast and the return of The Vampire Diaries deserve some applause. The debut of the Kristin Kreuk show that’s a reboot of the 80s’ drama with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton averaged 3.1 million viewers on Thursday, up 63% in adults 18-49 and 33% in adults 18-34 versus what The Secret Circle did last season. It, combined with the fourth season return of The Vampire Diaries (which was not only up 25% in women 18-34 but beat ABC and NBC in that demo), ended up giving the network a win among females 12-17 (2.2 rating/8 share) — a target demo that’s not particularly interested in watching Joe Biden condescend to Paul Ryan.

Now back to our regular programming. Ratings are a bit screwy (and expected to change) because of the live Vice Presidential debate and the hand-wringing analysis that followed, but here’s what we know based on preliminary numbers: CBS had the best night in 18-49 (2.7/7) and viewers (9.3 million) with The Big Bang Theory earning a 4.2/13 and 13.7 million viewers and Two & A Half Men posting a 3.4/9 and 11.1 million. Its coverage of the debate earned a 2.2/5 while its analysis snagged a 1.6/4.

Fox was second in the key demo with another edition of The X Factor (2.9/8, 8.2 million) and its debate coverage, which earned a 2.0/5 and 5.5 million viewers. Its analysis dropped to a 1.4/4 and 3.9 million. NBC was third for the night in the demo with a 1.9/5, mostly because viewers turned to its coverage of the debate versus the competition (2.3/6, 7 million). 30 Rock was flat versus last week with a 1.4/4 and 3.8 million and Up All Night dropped to a 1.2/3 and 3.4 million — which ties it with its series low.

Without the fine help of Grey’s Anatomy, ABC came in fourth for the night in the key demo, with its VP debate coverage earning a mere 1.9/5. Its analysis dropped to 1.4/4. And no happy news to report for The Last Resort: The new drama earned a 1.6/4 and 6.9 million viewers, which is a 16% drop versus last week and the series’ lowest to date. Hold on, Andre Braugher!


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