'Big Bang' returns to biggest audience ever

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Who’s afraid of a winter break?

Not Big Bang Theory which returned Thursday night after a three-week hiatus to its largest audience ever — 19 million viewers. We’ve all grown accustomed to Big Bang doing great numbers, but still … an 8 p.m. sitcom delivering nearly 20 million people in the year of our lord 2013 is just incredible.

Big Bang also matched its series high in the adults 18-49 demo with a 6.0 rating, then helped propel Two and a Half Men to season highs in viewers and the demo. Person of Interest matched its series high and at 10 p.m. Elementary matched its best numbers since its premiere.

Nearly everybody else aired repeats, which surely helped CBS. Here’s the full chart:

 ADULT RANK IN DEMO ADULTS 18-49 TOTAL VIEWERS (+000)
FOX 8-9P MOBBED S #6 1.0 2,740
9-10P MOBBED S #5 1.2 3,090
ABC 8-9P NASHVILLE RS #12t 0.7 3,189
9-10P SCANDAL RS #12t 0.7 2,908
10-11P SCANDAL R #7t 0.9 3,653
CBS 8:00P BIG BANG #1 6.0 18,984
8:30P TWO&MEN #2 4.6 15,393
9-10P PERSON INTEREST #3 3.4 16,135
10-11P ELEMENTARY #4 2.5 11,363
NBC 8:00P 30 ROCK R #9t 0.8 2,465
8:30P UP-NIGHT R #9t 0.8 1,962
9:00P OFFICE R #7t 0.9 2,152
9:30P PARK & REC R #12t 0.7 1,691
10-11P ROCK-WILLIAMS #9t 0.8 3,433
CW 8-9P VAMPIRE DIARIES R #15 0.4 1,124
9-10P BEAUTY&BEAST R #16 0.3 868
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