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TV Ratings: NBC's Olympics Thursday peaks late, while 'Idol' droops
Figure skating draws a 10 p.m. audience from Sochi
With the United States facing its first Olympics without an individual skating medal in decades, NBC failed to get a bump for the normally massive women's figure skating final, but still captured its third straight Thursday with coverage from Sochi.
Because NBC saved most of the skating for the 10 p.m. hour, this was the rare night of Olympics coverage in which the last part of primetime was easily the most-watched hour.
The night's only other originals were the Top 13 reveal on "American Idol," which kept sinking, and another low-rated new episode of the struggling "Rake."
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 4.9 rating for Thursday night, easily winning the key demographic. FOX was second with a 1.7 key demo rating, followed closely by the 1.6 key demo rating for CBS. There was a drop to ABC's 0.8 key demo rating and to the 0.2 key demo rating for The CW.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 19.925 million viewers and a 12.0 rating/19 share. CBS was a distant second with 6.625 million viewers and a 4.3/7, nipping the 4.2/7 and 6.605 million viewers for FOX. Again there was a big drop to ABC's 2.95 million viewers and 2.1/3 and then to the 815,000 viewers and 0.6/1 for The CW.
8 p.m. - NBC swept primetime starting in the 8 p.m. hour with 16.55 million viewers and a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49 for Olympics coverage. FOX's "American Idol" was second with 9.19 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating. CBS was third for the hour with repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" (10.06 million and a 2.6 key demo to easily beat "Idol") and "Mom" (7.16 million and a 1.8 key demo). ABC's "The Taste" finale did 3.15 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating in its first hour, topping the 908,000 viewers and 02 key demo rating for a "Vampire Diaries" repeat on The CW.
9 p.m. - Olympics coverage rose to 20.68 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' repeats of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Millers" averaged 5.95 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating ahead of the 4.02 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for FOX's "Rake." ABC's "The Taste" closed with 3.16 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating. On The CW, "Reign" averaged 723,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC wrapped up primetime on a high note with 22.54 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 for Olympics coverage. CBS' repeat of "Elementary" averaged 5.32 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating, topping the 2.54 million viewers and 0.7 key demo rating for ABC's "Scandal" repeat.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.