Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 1, 2012.
 
A two-hour "American Idol" episode presenting the new season's Top 13 drew the show's biggest overall audience in a couple weeks and carried FOX to an easy win on Thursday night.
 
Meanwhile, while most networks wouldn't consider 6.25 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating a rousing success, NBC may well be cautiously optimistic when it comes to the Thursday premiere of the new drama "Awake."
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.3 rating, easily winning the coveted demographic. FOX very nearly beat the combined key demo totals for CBS (2.1), NBC (1.9), ABC (1.1) and The CW (0.4).
 
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 18.28 million viewers and a 10.7 rating/17 share for Thursday night. CBS was a distant second with a 6.1/10 and 9.47 million viewers. That was still far ahead of the 3.1/5 and 4.75 million viewers for NBC and ABC's 3.675 million viewers and a 2.4/4. The CW averaged a 0.7/1 and 1.03 million viewers.
 
[Univision averaged 3.38 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday night.]
 
8 p.m. - FOX started primetime in first with 17.82 million viewers and a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49 for the first hour of "American Idol." CBS was second with a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" (11.11 million and a 3.2 key demo rating) and a new "Rob" (9 million and a 2.6 key demo). ABC's repeat of "Wipeout" averaged 4.545 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating. NBC was fourth overall and third in the key demo with new episodes of "30 Rock" (3.77 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo) and "Parks and Recreation" (3.78 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo). The CW's repeat of "Vampire Diaries" averaged 1.11 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
 
9 p.m. - The second hour of "American Idol" improved to 18.74 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX. CBS was second overall with 9.48 million viewers for a "Person of Interest" repeat, which did a 1.8 key demo rating for third. NBC was third overall and second in the demo with "The Office" (4.955 million and a 2.5 key demo) and "Up All Night" (3.48 million and a 1.6 key demo). ABC's repeat of "Grey's Anatomy" averaged 3.44 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, far better than the 952,000 viewers and 0.3 key demo for a "Supernatural" repeat on The CW.
 
10 p.m. - A repeat of "The Mentalist" won the 10 p.m. hour overall for CBS with 8.87 million viewers and finished second with a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Awake" premiere did the aforementioned 6.25 million viewers and the hour-winning 1.9 rating among adults 18-49, which counts as far better than the recent premiere for "The Firm" and marginally better than the September launch (against a full slate of competition) for "Prime Suspect." ABC's encore of the post-Oscars "Jimmy Kimmel Live" averaged 3.04 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.