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Both The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon aired new episodes last night, and both shows were slightly down in the 18-49 ratings. To be fair, they were not down by much, and Young Sheldon had a slight increase in overall viewers. But ratings are still paramount for advertiser dollars, and CBS has to be at least slightly disappointed that there wasn't an uptick for the highly promoted crossover.
The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 10 had 12.33 million viewers and a 2.1 rating, according to TVBytheNumbers. That's down from the most recent episode on November 15, which had 12.56 million viewers and a 2.3 rating.
Meanwhile, Young Sheldon followed with 10.87 million and a 1.6 rating, vs. 10.77 and 1.8 on Nov. 15.
It's possible The Big Bang Theory was ever-so-slightly down in viewers because it had been off for the past two weeks. Maybe some fans thought the November 15 episode was the midseason finale? Also, A Charlie Brown Christmas aired last night on ABC and picked up 1.2 million viewers, so some of those viewers may have been TBBT fans who'll watch the show later this week on DVR or whatnot.
It's not exactly bad news for The Big Bang Theory to still have more than 12 million viewers and top ratings in its 12th season. However, this is the final season of the CBS comedy. Numbers have been pretty steady in the 12-13 million range, which is great, but nothing like the 15-20 million heights of recent seasons.
A couple of months ago, Kunal Nayyar (Raj) said the countdown to the end would really begin once they came back from Christmas break:
The series finale the day we shoot it is April 30th, it's actually my birthday. So, it's almost like the character I was born to play is the day that I don't get to play it anymore... Life come's full circle, man.
The Big Bang Theory is reportedly ending in Season 12 because Jim Parsons is ready to call it quits. Hopefully the show ends on a high note -- creatively and in the ratings.
Season 12 premiered in September to 12.92 million fans, with a 2.5 rating. There will be 24 episodes to this final season, so there's a long way to go before the end. The ratings will almost certainly rise as we get closer to the final episodes of the popular comedy.