TV Ratings: 'American Idol' Drops to All-Time Low

Facing CBS' March Madness, the Fox singing competition drops to its poorest showing in the key demo since premiering in 2002.
Michael Becker
"American Idol"

With usage among adults 18-49 down week to week and no series posting any growth across the broadcast networks, Thursday night proved a particular downer for Fox's American Idol.

Following Wednesday's performance show low, Idol (2.7 adults rating) was down two-tenths of a point from the previous Thursday for the lowest demo score in the show's 11-year history. The hour obviously is subject to adjustment when final ratings are available. Idol led into a one-hour season finale of Raising Hope (1.3 adults), which was down by a tenth of a point from its most recent Tuesday outing. Fox averaged a 2.0 rating with 18-49-ers and 7.5 million viewers.

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ABC's Wife Swap (1.4 adults) was down three-tenths of a point from last week's premiere, leading into Grey's Anatomy (2.8 adults), which dropped two-tenths from last week. Scandal (2.6 adults) was only off by a tenth of a point, giving the network an average 2.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 7.1 million viewers.

Early returns for CBS coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament regional semifinals, which are likely to see adjustment when final numbers are available, brought in a 2.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers.

With two episodes of 1600 Penn (0.7) -- both tying a series low -- as the only originals on NBC, the network averaged just a 0.8 rating with adults 18-49 and 2.6 million viewers.

The CW bested NBC in the demo for the night, with The Vampire Diaries (1.2 adults, off a tenth) and an even Beauty and the Beast (0.6 adults). The CW averaged a 0.9 rating with adults 18-49 and 2 million viewers.

Univision averaged a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.5 million viewers.