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TV Ratings: 'Idol,' 'Big Bang,' 'Person of Interest' stay hot on Thursday

'The Mentalist' helps CBS win overall, as FOX wins the key demo

<p>A scene from Thursday's &quot;Mentalist&quot;</p>
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A scene from Thursday's "Mentalist"

Credit: CBS
Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 9, 2012.
 
There are enough pieces of the Thursday pie for several networks to be enthusiastic this morning. It was another night of week-to-week growth for "American Idol," even though Thursday's episode didn't feature a single full musical performance. And even with "Idol" retaining its juice, there was still room for "The Big Bang Theory" and "Person of Interest" to once again approach series-high numbers. That led to a predictable Thursday split.
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.0 rating, topping the 3.6 rating for CBS in the key demographic. ABC was third with a 2.6 rating, followed by NBC's 1.7 rating and the 1.0 key demo rating for The CW.
 
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 14.32 million viewers and an 8.7 rating/14 share for Thursday primetime. FOX was a solid second with a 7.2/11 and 12.22 million viewers, far ahead of ABC's 4.7/8 and 7.32 million viewers. NBC was fourth with a 2.6/4 and 3.93 million viewers, beating the 1.6/2 and 2.37 million viewers for The CW.
 
[Univision averaged 3.68 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday night.]

8 p.m. - "American Idol" ruled the 8 p.m. hour overall with 17.92 million viewers and the full hour with a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with "The Big Bang Theory" (16.06 million viewers and a 5.5 key demo rating) and "Rob" (11 million viewers and a 3.4 key demo rating). [Of note, while "The Big Bang Theory" won its half-hour among adults 18-49 with a 5.5 rating, compared to the 5.2 rating for "Idol," "Idol" beat "Big Bang" in viewers, ending a two-week run for the CBS sitcom.] ABC's "Wipeout" was far back in third with 5.24 million viewers and fourth with a 1.5 key demo rating. On NBC, two episodes of "30 Rock" averaged 3.85 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" averaged 2.97 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating (also tying with ABC for the hour among adults 18-34), the show's biggest overall audience since its first 2012 episode in January.
 
9 p.m. - CBS' "Person of Interest" averaged 15.07 million viewers, a series high, to win the 9 p.m. hour, coming in second with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was up with nearly 10.1 million viewers and an hour-winning 3.9 key demo rating. It was another dropping week for FOX's "The Finder," which slipped to 6.52 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating. NBC was fourth with "The Office" (5.16 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating) and "Up All Night" (3.7 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating). On The CW, "The Secret Circle" averaged 1.77 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.
 
10 p.m. - "The Mentalist" won the 10 p.m. hour with 14.36 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS. ABC's "Private Practice" averaged 6.63 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating. An encore airing of the post-Super Bowl "The Voice" brought 3.5 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating to NBC.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
Dan-feinberg-sm
Daniel Fienberg
Executive Editor
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.
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