‘Rules’ Makes Itself at Home in New Thursday Slot

David Spade in "Rules of Engagement" (Photo: CBS)

“Rules of Engagement” got a “Big Bang” in the ratings and so did CBS Thursday night.

Formerly relegated to the viewership desert of Saturday nights where it was intended to air this season, “Rules” premiered in its new Thursday time period — 8:30/7:30c — and drew 11.473 million viewers in the Nielsen overnights. That was far better than the numbers “How to Be a Gentleman” scored in the time period before it was canceled after two episodes.

“Rules of Engagement” is the sitcom starring David Spade and Patrick Warburton (“Seinfeld’s” Puddy) that’s bounced around under the radar for more than five seasons (this is its sixth).

“Rules” was moved to Thursday before it ever had a chance to debut on Saturday. And although “Rules” lost more than 3 million viewers off of its lead-in — “The Big Bang Theory” at 8/7c — we expect the Spade/Warburton series will stick around on Thursday nights for the foreseeable future.

“Big Bang” was the highest-rated half-hour on any network Thursday night with 14.694 million viewers. CBS didn’t win the night, though. Fox did, with Game Two of the World Series, which averaged 12.911 million viewers for the three hours of prime time, 8-11/7-10c.

In other overnight ratings highlights from Thursday:

CBS’s prime-time average was 12.619 million viewers — including 12.271 million for “Person of Interest” at 9/8c and 12.503 million for “The Mentalist” at 10/9c.

ABC has fallen on hard times on Thursday nights. This week, the network’s prime-time average was 7.181 million: 5.627 million for the soon-to-leave-the-air “Charlie’s Angels” at 8/7c, 9.361 million for the once nearly invincible “Grey’s Anatomy” at 9/8c, and 6.555 million for the fading “Private Practice” at 10/9c.

NBC’s Thursday lineup was all repeats of shows that first aired just a few weeks ago (a strategy undertaken, possibly, to avoid having to compete head-on with the World Series with new episodes of NBC shows). For the record, NBC averaged 2.729 million on the night — which was down in CW territory. CW had 2.481 million.

Missed “Grey’s Anatomy”? Watch the entire episode right here:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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