Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 19, 2015.

A two-hour performance night for "American Idol" was up from last week and helped FOX win Thursday overall, but it was NCAA Tournament action leading CBS to victory in the key demographic, at least in preliminary numbers.

Due to the nature of live events, these are time period figures and it's entirely possible that ABC, a close second in the key demo in Fast Nationals, may move up to first in Finals, despite down weeks for both "Scandal" and "American Crime."

NBC got Thursday's positive news as "Dateline: The Real Blacklist," "The Blacklist" and even "The Slap" all got bumps without scripted competition from CBS.

On to the numbers...

Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.0 rating for Thursday night, tops in the key demographic. ABC's 1.9 key demo rating and the 1.8 key demo rating for FOX were close behind. NBC was fourth with a 1.2 key demo rating and The CW averaged a 0.5 key demo rating for the night.

Overall, though, FOX led Thursday with an estimated 8.405 million viewers and a 5.2 rating/9 share, topping ABC's 7.15 million viewers and a 4.9/8 for the night. CBS was third with 6.53 million viewers and a 4.1/7, followed closely by NBC's 4.0/7 and 6.06 million viewers. The CW trailed with an estimated 1.32 million viewers and a 0.9/2.

8 p.m. - "American Idol" led the 8 p.m. hour overall for FOX with 8.11 million viewers and finished second with a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was second with 7.8 million viewers (up from last week) and won with a flat 2.1 key demo rating. NBC's "Dateline: The Real Blacklist" was third with 6.38 million viewers and fourth with a 1.2 key demo rating, compared to the 5.495 million viewers and 1.6 key demo rating for CBS' NCAA Tournament action.

9 p.m. - "American Idol" held onto its overall lead in the 9 p.m. hour with 8.7 million viewers and finished tied for third with a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "The Blacklist" was also in that tie with a 1.8 key demo rating and finished second with 8.37 million viewers. ABC's "Scandal" averaged 7.96 million viewers for third and won the hour with a 2.4 key demo rating, followed by the 7.5 million viewers and 2.3 key demo rating for CBS' basketball.

10 p.m. - CBS moved into first in the 10 p.m. hour with 6.61 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 for basketball. ABC's "American Crime" was second with 5.68 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating, followed by the 3.44 million viewers and 0.7 key demo rating for NBC's "The Slap."

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.

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.