Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 17, 2011.
For the second consecutive day, "American Idol" took a rather huge drop, particularly among young viewers. Again, the dip can probably be largely attributed to last weekend's time change. And again, it didn't make much of a difference, since FOX still dominated Thursday in all measures.
For the night, FOX averaged a 4.5 rating among adults 18-49, tops in the key demographic. ABC's 1.7 rating, CBS' 1.6 rating and the 1.5 rating for NBC all followed in a pack. The CW's 0.5 rating was fifth.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 15.46 million viewers to go with a 9.0 rating/15 share. ABC was second with a 3.6/6 and 5.76 million viewers, beating CBS' 31./5 and 4.75 million viewers. NBC was fourth with a 2.4/4 and 3.79 million viewers, still better than the 0.9/2 and 1.38 million viewers for The CW.

8 p.m. - "American Idol" averaged just under 19 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 for its Thursday results show (down from mover 21.7 million viewers and a 6.5 demo rating in last Thursday's Fast Nationals). ABC was second with 7.15 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating for "Wipeout." Third place went to CBS with 5.13 million viewers and a 1.7 demo rating for early NCAA Tournament action. NBC's newly renewed "Community" (4.21 million viewers and a 1.7 demo) and the not-so-renewed "Perfect Couples" (2.89 million viewers and a 1.2 demo) finished fourth, still beating the 1.225 million viewers for a "Vampire Diaries" repeat on The CW.
9 p.m. - FOX's "Bones" ruled the 10 p.m. hour with 11.92 and a 3.4 demo rating, significantly up in viewers from last week (flat in the demo), when the drama faced a new episode of "CSI" on CBS. Aired a new episode of "Private Practice," which averaged only 6.09 million viewers and a 1.9 demo rating without its "Grey's Anatomy" cushion. CBS' basketball was third with 4.98 million viewers, still better than the 3.88 million viewers for NBC's "Office" repeat and a new "Parks and Recreation." The CW's repeat of "Nikita" averaged 1.53 million viewers.
10 p.m. - CBS' NCAA hoops averaged 4.15 million viewers to win the 10 p.m. hour overall. A repeat of "Off the Map" averaged 4.05 million for second overall. NBC's new "30 Rock" (4.24 million viewers and a 1.7 demo rating) and "Outsourced" (3.64 million viewers and a 1.4 demo) were third overall and combined to win the hour in the demo.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.