Whether it was the upcoming religious holidays, nice spring weather, school vacations or just plain boredom with their choices, many television viewers took a siesta from their sets last Thursday. CBS' comedy "The Big Bang Theory" had its smallest audience of the season for a new episode, the Nielsen Co. said. ABC's "Missing" had a series low. All the originals on NBC's lineup — "Community," ''30 Rock," ''Up All Night" and "Awake" — had season lows. The NBC showing is particularly eye-opening, especially considering the network's former "must-see TV" status on Thursday nights. Only "Community" reached 3 million viewers. The comedies "30 Rock" had 2.79 million, "Up All Night" had 2.58 million and "The Office" had 2.52 million for a repeat episode. The hourlong drama "Awake" had 2.56 million viewers, Nielsen said. On the same first Thursday in April 10 years ago, NBC reached 28.5 million viewers for "ER" and 22.6 million for "Friends." Maybe half of that drop could be attributed to the same factors that have hurt broadcast TV in general, such as DVR usage, video games and more aggressive competition from cable. But not all of it.
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