Hastily assembled tributes to Michael Jackson and less hastily arranged honoring of Farrah Fawcett swept across Thursday night's programming, leaving regular ratings in the dust.
Among adults 18-49, FOX still won the night, doing a 1.9 rating in the key demographic. ABC and CBS' 1.6 rating and the 1.5 rating for NBC were all close behind. The CW's 0.5 rating trailed.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 7.56 million viewers in primetime to go with a 5.0 rating/9 share. ABC's 3.9/7 was second, with FOX's 3.5/6 and NBC's 3.1/6 bunched up in third and fourth. The CW trailed with a 0.9/2.
CBS took the 8 p.m. hour with a 4.5/9 for "The Mentalist." FOX's "Bones" was second with a 2.8/5. ABC's new episodes of "Samantha Who?" and "In the Motherhood" averaged a 2.3/4 for third, beating NBC's "The Office" repeats. The CW's "Smallville" had a 1.0/2 for fifth.
At 9 p.m., CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" had a 5.5/9 for first. FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" had a lower-than-normal 4.2/7, but still won the hour in the 18-49 demo. ABC's "20/20" special focusing on the King of Pop was third with a 3.9/7, while NBC's joint Jackson/Fawcett "Dateline" was fourth with a 3.5/6. The CW's "Supernatural" trailed.
ABC moved into first at 10 p.m. with a 5.6/10 for the Fawcett-centric "20/20," drawing more than 2.5 million viewers more than the Jackson installment. CBS' news special on Jackson did a 5.0/9 for second. NBC's "Dateline" was third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.