By Tim Molloy
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – “Community” had a good return to NBC: The show, pulled from the midseason schedule amid low ratings, delivered NBC’s highest non-sports ratings in its timeslot in 14 months and was up 38 percent over the show’s average for original episodes this season.
Airing at 8 p.m., the Joel McHale-led ensemble comedy had a 2.2/7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. It averaged a 1.6 rating earlier this season.
NBC decided to bring the show back despite that low average, but has not committed to ordering a fourth season. Weighing in the show’s favor is its devoted core fan base and huge presence online.
Last night’s return spawned four different worldwide trending topics on Twitter, more than “American Idol,” one of TV’s highest-rated shows.
The 2.2/7 rating was NBC’s highest at 8 p.m. — aside from sports — since Jan. 27, 2011.
Versus its rating in this same slot on the same night last year, “Community” was up 29 percent in the demo — its 2.2 rating compared to a 1.7 then.
Watch “Community’s” Big Return Now:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Community/104497/2210677592/Urban-Matrimony-and-the-Sandwich-Arts/embed 580 476]
At 8:30, “30 Rock” earned a 2.0/6 — a 33 percent increase on its average earlier this season in the 8 p.m. time slot (a 1.5) — and 4 million total viewers. At 9, “The Office” slipped 12 percent to tie a series low in the demo with a 2.3/6, with 4 million total viewers. “Up All Night” at 9:30 drew even with last week for a a 1.7/4 in the demo and 3.6 million total viewers, while” Awake” at 10 was also flat, receiving a 1.6/4 in the demo and 5 million total viewers.
Overall, the network took third place in the demo with an average 1.9/5 and fourth in total viewers with an average 4.6 million.
Fox took a predictable “American Idol”-driven win for the night in ratings and total viewers with an average 3.4/10 in the demo and 12 million. Though down 8 percent from last week, “Idol” at 8 still topped the night with a 4.5/14 in the demo and 12.1 million total viewers. A repeat of the Kiefer Sutherland drama “Touch” followed, receiving a 2.2/6 in the demo and 8.7 million total viewers.
ABC took second-place honors for the night in ratings and total viewers with an average 2.4/7 in the demo and 9 million. The night began with the 8 p.m. series premiere of the Ashley Judd drama “Missing,” which got off to a so-so start with a 2.0/6 in the demo — down 35 percent from last year’s “Body of Proof” premiere — and 10.6 million total viewers. “Grey’s Anatomy” the following hour posted a 3.0/8 and 9.7 million total viewers, while “Private Practice” closed the night at 10 with a 2.2/6 in the demo and 7 million total viewers.
CBS, which ran coverage of the NCAA basketball playoffs Thursday night, came in fourth in the demo with an average 1.7/5 and third in total viewers with an average 4.7 million.
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