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Fox Easily Wins Thursday Despite Minor Drop for 'American Idol'

Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson
Michael Becker/FOX

NBC’s three-hour comedy block sees week-to-week decline; network still takes second.

The American Idol ratings-watch continues. And after a 5% week-to-week drop in the 18-49 demographic for Wednesday’s installment, last night’s episode showed less erosion – down 3% in the demo and total viewers compared to its first Thursday installment on Jan. 20.

Idol averaged a 7.6 rating with 22.2 million viewers from 8-9 p.m., more than enough to power Fox to a win on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Idol bump propelled Bones (3.9, 12.1 million) to its highest-rated telecast in more than four years.   With new episodes of its all-comedy Thursday, NBC was second for the night (2.5, 5.1 million viewers), despite the fact that almost all of its sitcoms showed week-to-week declines. The Office (4.0, 7.9 million), which featured a guest turn by Ricky Gervais, was down 11%. And while 30 Rock (2.2, 4.5 million) easily prevailed at 10 p.m. -- against reruns of CBS’ The Mentalist and ABC’s Private Practice — it was down 19%. Only Outsourced (1.9, 4.1 million) showed improvement, up 6% compared to last week’s season low.   With most of its Thursday line-up in reruns, CBS was third for the night (2.1, 9.6 million). Only 8:30 p.m. comedy $#*! My Dad Says was new, and without an original Big Bang Theory to lead into it, $#*! My Dad Says sunk to a 2.3 with 8.8 million viewers overall for a series low.   ABC (1.6, 5.1 million) was also mostly in reruns, though a new episode of Wipeout (2.4, 7.0 million) at 8 p.m. was enough for a second place finish from 8-9 p.m.    The CW had new episodes of Vampire Diaries and Nikita averaging 3 million viewers from 8-10 p.m., for its most-watched Thursday since last November. Vampire Diaries averaged a 1.4 rating in the net’s target demo of 18-34-year-olds. And Nikita had its best rating in the younger demo (1.0) since last October.