9:06am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: March Madness Returns, 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Grey's Anatomy' Grow
American Idol dipped again on Fox, hitting a 2.8 rating with adults 18-49 during Thursday's results show. The episode was two-tenths of a point off from last week's Fast National numbers and three-tenths off from the finals. Glee (2.0 adults) held even at 9 p.m., giving the network a 2.4 average rating with adults 18-49 for the night and 8.8 million viewers.
ABC saw the return of its celebrity-free Wife Swap (1.7 adults). The reality show was south of its sister series' recent return. Grey's Anatomy (2.9 adults) gained three-tenths of a point from last week, while Scandal (2.7 adults) was steady with its most-recent original. The network pulled a 2.4 adults rating and 7.6 million viewers Thursday.
The 2013 NCAA Basketball tournament saw its debut on CBS, and while the ratings are subject to adjustments, the primetime coverage was only a tenth of a point shy of the comparable coverage last year. It averaged a 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 and 4.7 million viewers.
Across all basketball-carrying networks -- CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV -- NCAA basketball was at a combined high among households (5.8 rating and a 14 share). That's up 4 percent from last year's haul and the highest first-night gross for the tournament since 1991.
An even Community (1.1 adults) led into a special 1600 Penn (0.9 adults) broadcast on NBC. The latter was down 44 percent from Parks and Recreation in the same half-hour last week. An Office encore led into another 1600 Penn (0.8 adults), which was at a series low. Finishing off the night with a Law & Order: SVU encore, NBC averaged a 1.0 adults rating and 3.1 million viewers.
The Vampire Diaries (1.2 adults) saw a tenth of a point uptick from last week, beating NBC in the hour. Beauty and the Beast (0.7 adults) was up two-tenths of a point for its best performance since January. The network averaged a 0.9 adults rating and 2.2 million viewers.
Univision averaged a 1.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers.