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WINNERS

GLEE: Hmm, maybe Glee isn’t quite as damaged as many of us suspected…

After a season featuring some pretty major ratings slippage, Glee this week bounced back with its much-hyped Michael Jackson tribute episode. Tuesday night’s episode brought in 9.07 million viewers and a 3.7 18-49 share.

Okay, so that’s still well down on the show’s Season 2 average, where the show rarely dipped below 10 million a week, but after weeks of ratings stuck in the 7 million range Fox have to be breathing a slight sigh of relief.

And how does the network choose to reward Glee for its ratings renewal… why they’re putting it on hiatus after the Feb 21st episode for almost 2 months! Genius idea – especially when Glee lost almost 2 million viewers after taking a month off in March 2011. Hmm, maybe Glee isn’t quite out of the danger zone yet after all!

THE BIG BANG THEORY: Turns out CBS’s most valuable comedy franchise isn’t Two And A Half Men after all.

Yep, while the Ashton Kutcher starring series is still a terrific performer for the Eye network, it’s on Thursdays that the real magic is happening. Now in its 5th season, The Big Bang Theory this week pulled in 16.54 million viewers and an amazing 5.5 18-49 share.

But there’s more. You see not only were those figures a series high for the CBS comedy, but for the third week in a row, Big Bang actually BEAT the weakening American Idol when the two shows went head to head.

For its hour long Thursday episode Idol did average 17.41 million viewers – but that’s down a whopping 30% year on year. And it also means that Idol is now no longer TV’s number one show – it’s now getting beaten by Big Bang, NCIS and likely Dancing With The Stars when it returns in the Spring. Somewhere Simon Cowell is quietly chuckling to himself…

PERSON OF INTEREST: More good news for CBS on Thursday nights – Person Of Interest, the network’s initially troubled J.J. Abrams series, has now blossomed into a pretty formidable hit.

This week the Jim Cavaziel starrer pulled in 15.10 million viewers and a series high 3.3 youth rating (surprise, surprise CBS skews old!). Okay, so those demo numbers are nothing to get too excited about – but you can’t sniff at 15 million viewers in this cable age. Plus with Rob surprisingly holding it’s own (11.06 million) and the Mentalist solid at 10pm (11.87 million), CBS has a fairly sturdy Thursday night line-up, even without CSI.

Take note, NBC – this is how it’s done!

Person Of Interest

LOSERS

RINGER: It seems that absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder after all…

After a painful 2 month hiatus, The CW’s Sarah Michelle Gellar twin mystery came roaring back to our screens – and once again hit a season low! Ouch.

Yep, Tuesday’s episode of the increasingly far fetched thriller, pulled in just 1.40 million viewers and a 0.6 18-49 share, a weak result even for the increasingly troubled CW.

Making matters worse was the fact that the network performed quite the marketing push for Ringer during its break, with a significant numbers of ads and promotions – and yet in terms of actual viewers Ringer was 200,000 DOWN on its last original.

Once again the lesson is clear – if you have a serialized show you HAVE to run it uninterrupted. ABC please don’t make the same mistake with Revenge!

LUCK: Uh-oh – looks like HBO didn’t get Lucky this time!

Check out the ratings for Luck, the premium network’s latest high profile / high quality series, featuring Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and a whole heap of behind the scenes talent.

Unfortunately all those big names didn’t really help Luck in the ratings. Sunday night’s premiere pulled in just 1.06 million viewers – well down on the debuts of fellow HBO shows including Game Of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, and a big drop from the 5-6 million viewers the network’s top show, True Blood, attracts in a typical week.

To be fair, Luck did have an ‘unofficial’ launch late last year, and pulled in around a million viewers for that airing – so maybe it’ll improve in the weeks to come. But for now, Luck definitely needs all that it can get!