<p>&quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

"The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'American Idol' Night 2 helps FOX hold off 'Big Bang'-driven CBS on Thursday

Nobody watches 'Bad Judge' or 'A to Z' again

Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 8, 2015.

Fueled by its two-hour running time, the season's second night of "American Idol" rose in viewers and nearly equalled the premiere in the key demo, helping FOX win Thursday in both measures.

While "The Big Bang Theory" clobbered "Idol" across-the-board, "Idol" was able to do better against the rest of the CBS comedies, dominating the 9 p.m. hour in particular. FOX boasts this is the best Night 2 "Idol" retention in six years, but the whole one-hour versus two-hour thing makes that an apples/oranges comparison.

Among other Thursday notables, the home-stretch for "Parenthood" got off to a solid start, while nobody watches NBC's 9 p.m. comedies.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Kelley Kime and Hope</p>

Kelley Kime and Hope

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 Auditions - Nashville & Kansas City

After a slow start, a slew of good interviews boost the season's second episode

"American Idol" returned on Wednesday (January 7) night to somewhat tepid ratings and with a one-hour episode that was almost entirely devoid of likely breakout talent.

FOX posted the first episode online for critics and then wisely posted the second, which is airing tonight. The move was wise because, as you'll soon see, Thursday's episode is much, much better. There are three or four contestants who appeared on Thursday's episode and seem like plausible Finalists.

So click through and follow along as I recap the highlights and lowlights.

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<p>Emilia Clarke of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>

Emilia Clarke of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones,' 'Silicon Valley' and 'Veep' get April premieres on HBO

All three HBO dramas are up for Series Golden Globes this weekend

HBO made critics wait a solid minute into the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour before announcing the news most of our readers were waiting for.

"Game of Thrones," "Veep" and "Silicon Valley" are all set to return to HBO on Sunday, April 12.

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<p>&quot;Bob&#39;s Burgers&quot;</p>

"Bob's Burgers"

Credit: FOX

'Bob's Burgers' renewed for Season 6 on FOX

Fire up the grill for more of TV's best animated comedy

Winner of last year's Outstanding Animated Series Emmy, "Bob's Burgers" has been renewed for a sixth season on FOX.

The network announced on Thursday (January 8) that it has picked up an additional 22 episodes of 'Bob's Burgers" for the 2015-16 season. "Bob's Burgers still has, by my unscientific count, 14 more episodes left to air this year in its fifth season.

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<p>Patrick Wilson</p>

Patrick Wilson

Credit: AP

Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson land key 'Fargo' Season 2 roles

Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Donovan are also officially set for the FX dramedy

Putting FX's "Fargo" at No.1 on my list of 2014's Best TV Shows has not, apparently, landed me magic casting power on the second season. FX announced casting for the season's lead on Thursday (January 8) and, sorry Twitter followers and podcast listeners, it's not Joel Kinnaman. 

Patrick Wilson is set to play Young Lou Solverson, Vietnam veteran and clean-cut Minnesota State Patrolman, the character who was played by Keith Carradine in the anthology's Emmy-winning first season.

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

"American Idol"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: FOX's 'Empire' strikes big, 'American Idol' Wednesday premiere is soft

Hip-hop drama builds on its 'Idol' lead-in in the key demographic

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

"American Idol" had its weakest premiere ever among young viewers and its softest overall launch since Season 1 on Wednesday night, but FOX is still giddy this morning after a huge premiere for "Empire," especially in the key demographic.

The Season 14 premiere of "Idol" drew 10.89 million viewers and did a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals. For comparison purposes, last year's Wednesday "Idol" premiere averaged nearly 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. Those numbers were, of course, for a two-hour premiere, as last year's "Idol" did only a 4.4 key demo rating and under 14.9 million in its first hour.

But, again, with a robust 3.7 key demo rating for "Empire," there's plenty to smile about at FOX. To be more specific, "Empire" is FOX's highest rated series debut since January 2012. That high-rated debut? "Touch."

[UPDATE: FOX got rushed Final Live+SD ratings and "Empire" ticked up to a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, tying ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" for the season's top debut.]

Wednesday also saw strong performances from ABC's early-night comedies, particularly "The Goldbergs," though a low night for "Black-ish" takes away some of that enthusiasm.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Emily Brooke of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Emily Brooke of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 Premiere

Keith, Harry and J-Lo return to FOX's spotlight at the Nashville Auditions

"American Idol" is back for Season 14 and it's important to remind you: The last two winners have been Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson.

For the past few years, the ability to make stars has been the thing "Idol" has used to set it apart from the higher-rated "Voice." It's not like the coronation of Phillip Phillips, an artist with probably more album sales than every "Voice" winner combined, was that long ago, but in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, "Idol" could use another breakout soon. [Note that ratings were WAY down for "The Voice" this past season, as the NBC singing competition appears to have peaked and be heading into the predictable slide that almost all competition shows eventually go into. While pundits love to talk trash about the decline in "Idol" ratings, folks were oddly silent about "The Voice" in the fall. Shrug.]

Expect more declines for "Idol" this season, but a breakout, incandescent star might help.

So let's get down to the business of recapping Wednesday (January 7) night's premiere! With FOX sending out screeners, the live-blog times line up with episode time-code and not with any time from a real clock. Oh and Thursday's (January 8) two-hour episode is vastly better than tonight's premiere. Stick around.

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<p>Season 2 of &quot;The Fall&quot;</p>

Season 2 of "The Fall"

Credit: Netflix

Press Tour: 'The Fall' creator expects Season 3, bemoans potential remake

"We share a common language," Allan Cubitt says

The second season of "The Fall" won't premiere on Netflix until January 16, so don't go spoiling things, fancy-pants British who have already seen all six episodes.

I'm certainly not going to spoil anything from the second season, which concluded on BBC One on December 17, but at the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday (January 7) morning, creator Allan Cubitt teased that a third season is likely, even if hasn't been formally announced.

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<p>&quot;Arrested Development&quot;</p>

"Arrested Development"

Credit: Netflix

Is the future bright for more 'Arrested Development?'

And will 'Jessica Jones' be coming to Netflix? News from the TV press tour

The January Television Critics Association press tour kicked off on Wednesday (January 7) morning in Pasadena with only the second appearance from Netflix and the first executive session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

Forestalling a series of predictable, pent-up questions about absent ratings numbers and whatnot, Sarandos kicked off his presentation with a slew of variable-sized announcements, including a second season renewal for "Marco Polo," a March 6 premiere for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a March 20 premiere for "Bloodline," a May 8 launch for "Grace and Frankie" and, most surprisingly and notably, an April 10 premiere for the first of Netflix's Marvel-based shows, "Daredevil."

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<p>&quot;Marvel&#39;s Agent Carter&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agent Carter"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Agent Carter' outdraws 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' but can't top 'NCIS'

New Marvel series loses viewers with each half-hour

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

The new year is off to a good start for CBS as, for the second straight night, the network's various procedurals neared or cleared season highs, led by the most watched "NCIS" since last February.

"NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" had no trouble thumping ABC's two-hour "Marvel's Agent Carter" in all measures. While ABC will happily note that "Agent Carter" outdrew "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." throughout, the 1940s-set drama suffered a dwindling audience at each half-hour.

Elsewhere, a good premiere for "MasterChef Junior" pushed "New Girl" to a solid performance, though "The Mindy Project" took a big fall from its lead-in.

On to the numbers...

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