'American Idol' - With Casey Abrams Save - Wins Thursday Ratings

9:43 AM PST 03/25/2011 by Lindsay Powers
Michael Becker/FOX

Steve Carell’s proposal on "The Office," and Aaron Sorkin’s guest turn on "30 Rock" also give NBC a boost.

American Idol -- featuring the judge's dramatic save of Casey Abrams -- was Thursday's No. 1 show.

Idol’s top 11 results show averaged a 6.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 22.4 million viewers overall. That was 9 percent bump in the demo week-to-week and 6 percent in total viewers. Idol’s ratings spiked in the last half hour — growing 21 percent in the demo and 17 percent in total viewers — as more people tuned in to see who would get kicked off.

Idol beat the second highest-rated program of the night, Grey's Anatomy, by 72 percent in the key demo, and 105 percent in total viewers, leading ABC to a distant second for the night. Grey's (3.6, 10.1 million) was up 6 percent from its series low on Feb. 24. Private Practice (2.7, 8 million) was up 17 percent from its last telecast in its regular 10 p.m. time period on Feb. 24 and Winter Wipeout (2.2, 7.5 million) was up 5 percent.

CBS was third place with NCAA basketball, which this year are airing across four networks in a  $10.8 billion deal between the NCAA and Turner Broadcasting. Compared to the same night last year, CBS was down 36 percent averaging a 2.5 demo rating with 7.1 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. with games UConn vs. San Diego State and Duke vs. University of Arizona games. But those numbers will likely change when final ratings are released.  

NBC ranked fourth, despite ratings increases across the board. Community (1.8, 4.5 million) was up 6 percent , Perfect Couples (1.6, 3.4 million) increased 33 percent, Parks & Recreation (2.5, 5.2 million) was up 39 percent and Outsourced (1.5, 3.6 million) bounced 7 percent. The Office (3.4, 7.1 million), which featured a proposal from Michael Scott (Steve Carell) to Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) and the announcement that he's quitting, was up 6 percent from its last original on Feb. 24. And 30 Rock (2.0, 4.4 million), with Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin in a guest turn, was up 18 percent.
     
 Univision topped the CW in the key 18-49 demo.

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