Ratings for Thursday, March 15th: “Community” returns strong – ABC’s “Missing” has a decent start

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Fox took home the top prize in the 18-49 demo last night thanks to a one-hour episode of American Idol (15.52 million viewers, A18-49: 4.5), and a rebroadcast of Touch (8.6 million viewers, A18-49: 2.2).

ABC placed second with the series premiere of Missing (10.56 million viewers, A18-49: 2.0) – Missing premiered lower than cancelled Charlie’s Angels in the 18-49 demo, in same timeslot, but posted the best total viewers for ABC in the Thursday 8p.m. timeslot in 14 monthsGrey’s Anatomy followed (9.6 million viewers, A18-49: 3.0), and Private Practice (7 million viewers, A18-49: 2.2).

Over on NBC, Community returned from its hiatus in a big way thanks to no competition from CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, drawing in 4.89 million viewers, A18-49: 2.2 – up 46% vs. its last episode in December – followed by a relocated 30 Rock (4.04 million viewers, A18-49: 2.0), The Office (4.87 million viewers, A18-49: 2.3), Up All Night (3.63 million viewers, A18-49: 1.7), and Awake (5.05 million viewers, A18-49: 1.6).

CBS placed fourth with its coverage of the 2012 NCAA Basketball (4.72 million viewers A18-49: 1.7).

The CW offered up new episodes of The Vampire Diaries (2.62 million viewers, A18-49: 1.2) and The Secret Circle (1.61 million viewers, A18-49: 0.7).

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