While several shows, including Revenge and Terra Nova, were back last night with new episodes after breaks, one show was really, really back.
Much to the presumed dismay of bugs everywhere.
Yes, the scorpion-chomping Fear Factor, which aired its first new episodes in five-plus years Monday, killed in its return.
The back-from-the-dead reality series averaged an estimated 8.6 million viewers, and, most impressive, a 3.4 rating among 18-49-year-olds.
CBS' comedies, led by Two and a Half Men (14.7 million viewers; 4.6 demo rating), still ruled the night, but Fear Factor gave NBC a huge boost over The Sing Off, as well one of the network's strongest 18-49 performances of the season. (Another fun factoid: The gross-out show scored just as big among teen girls as teen boys.)
The rise of Fear Factor, meanwhile, didn't seem to bode well for Terra Nova, airing its first new episode since Nov. 28. The Fox dino drama dropped to under 7 million viewers, and a 2.1 18-49 rating.
Rock Center, the litte-watched Brian Williams newmag, was a little more watched last night (4 million viewers; 1.1 demo rating), thanks to its Fear Factor lead-in and/or the debut of correspodent Chelsea Clinton.
Elsewhere, here's a rundown of other notable performances from Nielsen's latest broadcast and cable rankings:
• Revenge (36th place): Back with their first new episode since Nov. 23, Emily Thorne and frenemies dropped three places in the rankings, but moved up to 7.3 million viewers.
• A Charlie Brown Christmas (25th place): Week's most-watched holiday special—sorry, Michael Bublé (42nd place).
• Grimm (57th place): In a special Thursday outing, the fairy-tale series improved on Prime Suspect's recent peformance, but its 1.6 demo rating was still no fix for NBC's 10 p.m. woes.
• Raising Hope (73rd place): Steep drop-off from New Girl (46th place).
• Boardwalk Empire (3 million viewers): The season-two finale hit a main character—and a 2011 high.
• Sons of Anarchy (4.2 million viewers): Most-watched cable drama, outdoing Rizzoli & Isles (3.9 million viewers).
• Real Housewives of Atlanta (3.3 million viewers): Most-watched Housewives drama, outdoing Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2.2 million viewers).
Here's a complete look at the TV week's top 10 most-watched broadcast shows: