‘American Idol’ Propels Fox to Thursday Win

Mark Davis / PictureGroup for FOX

CBS is distant second though new installments of "Rules of Engagement," "CSI" and "The Mentalist" post double-digit gains.

American Idol, which included performances from season 9 runner-up Adam Lambert and Diddy Dirty Money, once again propelled Fox to a win on Thursday. 

The one-hour installment averaged a 6.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 21.7 million viewers. And while last night’s installment was down 21% compared to last Thursday’s two-hour finalist reveal, which is typically among the show’s higher rated installments, year-over-year, Idol is holding steady. It’s down only 4% in the demo and up 6% in total viewers.
Idol also helped lead-out Bones (3.4, 10.9 million) win the 9 p.m. hour against an original episode of CBS’ CSI (3.1, 13.8 million) and reruns of ABC’s Wipeout (1.9, 5.4 million) and NBC’s The Office and Parks and Recreation (1.3, 2.7 million).
For the night, CBS was a distant second with new installments of its Thursday lineup including comedies The Big Bang Theory (3.8, 12.1 million) and Rules of Engagement (2.8, 9.4 million), which was up 17% week-to-week. CSI and The Mentalist were also up double-digits compared to previous originals. And The Mentalist (3.0, 14.3 million) easily won the 10 p.m. hour against reruns of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (1.2, 3.4 million) and NBC comedies 30 Rock and Outsourced (1.0, 2.2 million). 
The broadcast networks also likely faced significant competition from TNT’s NBA coverage of the Miami Heat/Los Angeles Lakers matchup last night. In a close game, the Heat managed to beat the Lakers to snap a five-game losing streak. Ratings for the game will come in later today.