02/22/2013 04:03 pm ET

'The Vampire Diaries' Ratings Help The CW Beat Out NBC And ABC On Thursday Night

The heartbreak on "The Vampire Diaries" is certainly helping the ratings!

The CW drama came in at No. 3 Thursday night with a 1.3 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" took the top spot yet again with a 5.4 rating in the key demo and 17.4 million viewers total, while Fox's" American Idol" followed with a 3.9 rating and 13.5 million viewers.

"The Vampire Diaries" beat out ABC and NBC in the 8 p.m. hour. ABC's "Zero Hour" -- which earned the unfortunate honor last week of being ABC's lowest-rated scripted series premiere ever -- fell to 5.3 million viewers with a 1.1 rating. Over on NBC, "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" couldn't compete with "The Vampire Diaries." "Community" brought in a 1.1 rating and 3 million viewers (a slight increase from last week's numbers), while Leslie and Ben's wedding on "Parks and Rec" only garnered 3 million viewers and a 1.3 rating.

"The Vampire Diaries" caught audiences' attention after the Feb. 14 episode saw a shocking death in the final moments. This week's episode dealt with the very emotional aftermath, leading to a 30 percent growth in the key 18-49 demo and a 25 percent increase in total viewers (2.9 million). Last week's shocking episode also helped "The Vampire Diaries" earn the title of the No. 1 social series on broadcast TV for the week of Feb. 11-17.

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.