Ratings: ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Life in Pieces’ rise (for now); Barbara Walters special down

Big Bang Theory -When you look at the ratings for Thursday night, it’s easy to be excited for “The Big Bang Theory.” After all, wasn’t it expected that the CBS sitcom was going to suddenly experience a huge surge in the ratings? There was almost no competition on the air for one, and to go along with that, this was an episode featuring the characters of Sheldon and Amy sleeping together for the first time.

The winners – On the surface, the series won big … but there is a catch. There were some preemptions here and there for NFL football between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams, making it possible in theory that this 4.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic (the highest since earlier this season) could be adjusted down when the final ratings are announced a little bit later in the day. The same goes for “Life in Pieces” with its 2.5, the best rating it has seen since its premiere, and “Elementary” with its 1.2 rating. That’s tough for the latter show in particular.

Personally, we’re looking forward to the new year because it gives us an opportunity to actually see how some of these shows do without the rampant preemptions that are making it a whole lot harder for them to share consistency at the moment.

The losers – The biggest one to us is the annual “Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People” special, which only drew a 1.0 rating this year. This is now sharply from last year, when the special had a better lead-in courtesy of a new “Once Upon a Time” episode.

Ultimately, our feeling on these specials is rather clear: If you’re going to get these sort of ratings, then you shouldn’t just cater this to super-celebs.

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