TV Ratings: 'Idol' slipping continues as 'Anatomy,' Sweet 16 force Thursday split
The CW tops NBC for the night as '1600 Penn' finale fizzles
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
Another Thursday, another series low for "American Idol." While the fading juggernaut still kept FOX in first overall, "Grey's Anatomy" and NCAA Tournament coverage helped ABC and CBS claim a share of the primetime crown among young viewers.
There's no point in piling on when it comes to the weekly "lowest rated episode ever" "Idol" headlines, but it's interesting that the "Idol" halo has become so weak that "Raising Hope" did lower key demo numbers airing after "Idol" than it did in its last original airing, leading off an ordinary Tuesday.
Meanwhile, "The Vampire Diaries" helped The CW top NBC for the night, which wasn't so surprising given that NBC's only originals were a pair of low-rated "1600 Penn" episodes, including what logic dictates will be the series finale.
Among adults 18-49, ABC and CBS both averaged a 2.3 rating for Thursday night, topping FOX's 2.0 rating in the key demographic. The CW averaged a 0.9 key demo rating, topping NBC's 0.8 key demo for the night.
Overall, though, FOX scored a narrow win with 7.53 million viewers and a 4.7 rating/8 share for Thursday night. ABC's 4.7/8 and CBS' 6.92 million and 4.5/7 followed close behind. There was a big drop to NBC's 2.62 million and 1.8/3 and The CW's 1.2/2 and 1.99 million.
[Univision averaged 3.52 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday night.]
8 p.m. - "American Idol" averaged 11.03 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' coverage of Marquette and Miami finished second with 6.42 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating (with a second, ultimately more competitive, game airing on TBS). ABC's "Wife Swap" did 4.27 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating, good for a distant third for the hour. The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" averaged 2.43 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating, beating NBC's "Community" repeat (2.35 million and a 0.7 key demo) and a new "1600 Penn" (1.89 million and a 0.7 key demo).
9 p.m. - "Grey's Anatomy" won the 9 p.m. hour easily for ABC with 8.83 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' basketball coverage averaged 6.07 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating for second. FOX's "Raising Hope" finale averaged 4.03 million viewers, but only a 1.3 key demo rating. NBC reclaimed fourth with an "Office" repeat (1.66 million and a 0.7 key demo) and the "1600 Penn" finale (1.89 million and a 0.7 key demo). The CW's "Beauty and the Beast" averaged 1.55 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - CBS' basketball coverage got a big bump with coverage of Syracuse's win over Indiana, taking the 10 p.m. hour with 8.26 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Scandal" dropped from last week with 8.05 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo demo rating. NBC's repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" repeat averaged 3.96 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, particularly in the case of live events.