Fox Wins Thursday With Extra Hour of 'American Idol'

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Fox easily bested the competition Thursday night with two hours of American Idol, giving the network its best Thursday night (non-sports) performance in three years. Idol pulled in a 7.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 21.5 million viewers overall, that was 5 percent versus last Thursday’s episode, but up 11 percent versus the comparable date last year (when the second edition of Idol aired on Wednesdays).

CBS was second (3.0, 12.7 million) with comedies The Big Bang Theory (3.8, 12.5 million) and Rules of Engagement (2.8, 9.6 million) and drama CSI (2.7, 12.4 million) and The Mentalist (2.8, 14.6 million). CSI and The Mentalist were both down 7 percent week-to-week and CSI hit a series low.
ABC was third (2.6, 7.6 million) with Winter Wipeout (2.2, 7.0 million), Grey’s Anatomy (3.3, 9.0 million) and Private Practice (2.4, 6.7 million). Wipeout and Private Practice were up week-to-week, but Grey’s Anatomy was down 11 percent for a series low. For the night, NBC was fourth (2.1, 4.2 million) as its three-hour comedy block turned in a mostly underwhelming performance. 
Though 30 Rock (2.3, 4.5 million) was up 15 percent week-to-week, Community (1.8, 3.9 million) Outsourced (1.5, 3.3 million) and The Office (3.3, 6.2 million) tied season lows.