TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' and 'American Idol' Neck and Neck on Thursday Night

The Big Bang Theory Leonard Sheldon Lightsaber - H 2012
Michael Yarish/Warner Bros

The Big Bang Theory Leonard Sheldon Lightsaber - H 2012

American Idol and The Big Bang Theory share Thursday's bragging rights according to fast affiliate ratings. Metered markets give both series a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49, though the CBS comedy clearly topped Idol (5.4 over 4.8) during its half-hour.

Fox won the night, though, building Idol more than a point between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. The broadcast will likely be adjusted up when final ratings come in, suggesting just a 4 percent drop from last week's Thursday premiere. These numbers were also good for The Finder. The freshman series continued to build in its third week, jumping another 32 percent for an hour topping 2.9 among adults 18-49. The net averaged a 4.1 in the demo and 12.8 million viewers.

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Big Bang Theory gave way to a steady Rob on CBS, which retained its second outing's audience for a 3.5 in adults 18-49. Repeats of Person of Interest and The Mentalist obviously didn't match the comedies, giving the network a 2.8 adults 18-49 and 11.3 million for the night.

NBC was a mixed bag, earning a 1.4 in the demo and 3.6 million over the course of the night. 30 Rock was even with its 1.6 in adults 18-49 from last week, while Parks and Recreation (1.7) dropped. A second 30 Rock (1.9) at 9:00 p.m. marked an improvement for the series but took a steep 37 percent drop from last week's time period holder, The Office. Up All Night was a repeat and The Firm bumped up to a 1.0.

ABC aired repeats for a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers, while The CW aired supernatural thriller The Covenant for a 0.5 and 1.3 million.

More to come.