May 11, 2012 9:11am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Even 'Idol' Wins Thursday, 'Big Bang,' 'Office,' 'Vampire Diaries' Dip for Finales
Fox and CBS were neck and neck Friday, with a steady American Idol (even with last week's fast affiliates and down a tenth from the final) pulling a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49. A similarly even Touch, which posted a 2.0 rating in the demo, gave the network a 2.9 average for the night and 11 million viewers.
CBS bested Fox in total viewers with 12.1 million and placed a close second in 18-49-ers with a 2.8 rating. The fifth-season finale of The Big Bang Theory topped all other broadcasts in the demo, averaging a 4.2 rating with the demo, though it was down half a point from last week's penultimate episode. Rules of Engagement, one of CBS' few series to not be renewed or canceled yet, was even with a 2.7 in the demo, and Person of Interest earned an additional tenth of a point from last week for a 2.6 adults rating. The Mentalist dropped 4 percent to a 2.4 rating with 18-49-ers, still easily winning the 10 p.m. hour.
Missing continues to slip on ABC. The drama posted a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, down a tenth of a point from last week's finals for a new low. Grey's Anatomy saw a small gain to a 3.4 in the demo, winning the 9 p.m. time period in the demo, followed by a relatively even Scandal, up a tenth from last week for a 2.0 in the demo. ABC pulled a 2.2 rating in the demo for the night with 7.5 million viewers.
NBC aired the season finales of The Office and Parks and Recreation. The latter was even with last week's 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, but The Office slipped a tenth of a point, ending the season with a 2.2 in the demo. Recently renewed Community was even with a 1.4 adults rating, while 30 Rock -- which also was renewed Thursday -- rose a tenth of a point for a 1.5 in the demo. Awake climbed two-tenths for a 0.9 with adults. The network scored a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating overall and 3.2 million viewers.
On The CW, the season finale of The Vampire Diaries was down a tenth of a point for a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, while The Secret Circle was even with a 0.5 in the demo.