TV Ratings: 'American Idol' Tuesday takes down the Olympics
With the Olympics drawing huge numbers for NBC all through the weekend, the big question was whether the Vancouver Games would be able to take out FOX's "American Idol."
In the end, there was no competition at all, even with mens' figure skating moving to the forefront, it was FOX's "Idol" comfortably beating the Olympics, particularly in the young adults demos.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 9.1 demo rating, far ahead of the 5.4 demo rating for NBC. CBS was a distant third in the all-important demo with a 2.6 rating, ahead of the 1.8 rating for CBS and The CW's 0.4 rating.
Things were a good deal closer overall. FOX averaged an estimated 23.64 million viewers to go with a 12.9 rating/19 share, just beating NBC's 12.2/19, but still way ahead of NBC's average of 20.41 million viewers in primetime. CBS was third with a 6.3/10. ABC's 3.9/6 was fourth, with The CW's 0.6/1 trailing.
In the 8 p.m. hour, FOX got a 12.6/19 from the start of "American Idol," with 23.1 million viewers and a 8.8 demo rating. NBC's Olympics broadcast, which began with figure skating, did an 11.3/17 and only a 4.5 demo rating, well off the established Olympics pace. CBS' repeat of "NCIS" had a 7.5/11 for third. An encore of last week's "Lost" was fourth, while a repeat of "90210" had a 0.6/1 for The CW.
With "American Idol" starting to reveal its Top 24, FOX did a 13.2/19 in the 9 p.m. hour, averaging 24.19 million viewers and a 9.5 demo rating. NBC's telecast from Vancouver was up to a 12.4/18 in its second hour. CBS' repeat of "NCIS: Los Angeles" had a 6.0/9 for third, nipping ABC's "Lost," which had a 5.8/8 overall and a 4.5 demo rating. The CW's "Melrose Place" repeat was fifth.
NBC moved into first at 10 p.m. with the Olympics improving to a 12.9/22 and a 6.2 demo rating. CBS' repeat of "The Good Wife" was second. On ABC, a new episode of "The Forgotten" was third with a 3.3/5, though it beat CBS' repeat in the 18-49 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, particularly in the case of live events.