May Sweeps kicked off on Thursday night with a lineup of all new programming across the five networks, highlighted by Steve Carell's departure from "The Office
." For all of the stiff competition, though, "American Idol
" remained steady and lifted FOX to easy Thursday wins.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.2 rating for the night, far ahead of the 2.5 rating for NBC and CBS. ABC was fourth in the key demographic witha 2.3 rating, far ahead of the 0.9 rating for The CW.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 14.41 million viewers and an 8.6 rating/14 share, outdistancing the 6.9/11 and 10.975 million viewers for CBS. ABC was third for the night with a 5.3/8, with NBC's 3.2/5 and 5.27 million viewers taking fourth. The CW trailed with 2.17 million viewers and a 1.4/2.
8 p.m. -
The weekly "American Idol" results show averaged 19.02 million viewers and a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49, carrying the 8 p.m. hour for FOX. CBS was second with "The Big Bang Theory
" (10.48 million viewers and a 3.2 demo rating) and "Rules of Engagement" (7.77 million and a 2.3 demo). ABC's "20/20" was third overall with 6.92 million viewers, but fourth in the key demo. NBC's new "Community
" (3.59 million and a 1.5 demo rating) and an "Office" repeat (3.15 million and a 1.5 demo) finished fourth. The CW was fifth with 2.6 million viewers and a 1.2 demo rating for "The Vampire Diaries
9 p.m. -
CBS eked out a slim overall win in the 9 p.m. hour with an underwhelming 10.52 million viewers for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," which mustered only a 2.3 demo rating. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was a close second overall with 10.32 million viewers and also second in the key demo with a 3.5 rating. FOX's "Bones
" dipped to 9.81 million viewers and a 2.8 demo rating. NBC's 52 minutes of "The Office" and 8 minutes of "Parks and Recreation
" won the hour in the key demo with a 4.1 rating and averaged 8.13 million viewers overall. And, of course, The CW was fifth with 1.74 million viewers and only a 0.6 demo rating for "Nikita."
10 p.m. -
CBS closed primetime in first overall and in the key demographic with 13.28 million viewers and a 2.6 demo rating for "The Mentalist
." ABC's "Private Practice" was second with 6.67 million viewers and a 2.2 demo. That left NBC in third with 4.3 million viewers and a 2.1 demo rating for "Parks and Recreation" and "30 Rock."
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.