Candice Accola and Michael Trevino
The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast had solid debuts on Thursday, while CBS took the night with The Big Bang Theory and coverage of the vice presidential debate.
The Vampire Diaries opened Season 4 to 3.5 million viewers and a 1.6 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic, rising 14 percent from last year. The CW drama tied Last Resort (7 million, 1.6) in the demo and beat NBC's 8 o'clock lineup of 30 Rock (3.8 million, 1.4) and Up All Night (3.4 million, 1.2).
Beauty and the Beast, which was the only show to air opposite the debate, bowed to 3.2 million viewers and a 1.3, matching The Secret Circle's debut in the slot last year.
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Big Bang was the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night, with 13.7 million viewers and a 4.2, but fell seven-tenths from last week. Two and a Half Men (11.7 million, 3.4) dropped two-tenths.
Boosted by Big Bang and Two and a Half Men, CBS averaged 8.3 million and a 2.2 for its coverage of the clash between Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
On Fox, The X Factor (8.2 million, 2.9) slipped three-tenths.
CBS: The Big Bang Theory 15.4 million (4.9); Two and a Half Men 12.7 million (3.5)
ABC: Last Resort 7 million (1.6)
Fox: The X Factor 8.2 million (2.9)
NBC: 30 Rock 3.8 million (1.4); Up All Night 3.4 million (1.2)
CW: The Vampire Diaries 3.5 million (1.6)
CBS: Vice presidential debate 8.3 million (2.2)
ABC: Vice presidential debate 7.5 million (1.9)
Fox: Vice presidential debate 5.3 million (1.9)
NBC: Vice presidential debate 7.1 million (2.2)
CW: Beauty and the Beast 3.2 million (1.3)
CBS: Vice presidential debate/debate analysis 7.3 million (2.0)
ABC: Vice presidential debate/debate analysis 6.3 million (1.6)
NBC: Vice presidential debate/debate analysis 6.4 million (2.1)