Big Bang Theory - Series 7CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory kicked off its seventh season on Thursday evening with big ratings.

The comedy, starring Emmy winner Jim Parsons, launched its new season with a double-bill at 8pm with the first instalment pulling in 18.3 million viewers and a 5.3 18-49 rating. However, at 8.30pm the second edition saw ratings rise even further with 19.5 million viewers and a huge 5.8 18-49 rating.

Elsewhere in the 8pm slot Fox‘s struggling talent contest The X Factor had 6.4 million viewers with a 2.1 18-49 rating. ABC‘s repeat of the series premier of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D had 4.6 million viewers and a 1.2 18-49 rating.

At 9pm the huge lead-in from The Big Bang Theory helped CBS’ new comedy The Crazy Ones, starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, pull in a hefty 15.6 million viewers with a 4.0 18-49 rating. The Crazy Ones had the better of NBC‘s new comedy The Michael J Fox show which pulled in 7.2 million viewers and a 2.1 18-49 rating.

At 9.30 Two and a Half Men returned to CBS, with new cast member Amber Tamblyn making her debut, which had 11.5 million viewers and a 2.9 18-49 rating.

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