Thursday’s prime-time ratings saw one long-running show make history — and not the good kind. Based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, Fox’s "American Idol," which once ruled the airwaves, delivered the lowest number in its 13-season history.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "Idol" delivered a 2.3 average rating, as Fox finished a distant third overall among the broadcast nets. The number was down from a 2.4 a week earlier — which at the time was also an all-time low for the show.
Leading out from "Idol," Fox’s "Rake" managed only a 0.8 in the 18-49 demo, falling two-tenths from a week ago.
The top show on broadcast prime was CBS’s "The Big Bang Theory" with a 4.9 in viewers 18-49. While that number was down three-tenths of a point from the show’s previous original episode, it was enough to help push CBS to a narrow win for the night over ABC.
CBS appeared to get a boost from a time-slot swap between "Two and a Half Men" and "The Crazy Ones." "Men" delivered a 2.5 average in 18-49 in its new 9 p.m. slot, rising six-tenths from its previous original episode, which aired at 9:30. "Crazy," now in the 9:30 slot, ticked up two-tenths to a 1.9, topping its 9 p.m. airing two weeks ago.
Also on CBS, "The Millers" was up two-tenths in viewers 18-49 from two weeks ago with a 2.8 average, while "Elementary" slipped two-tenths from its previous original to a 1.6.
ABC made the race interesting with strong showings for its returning dramas "Grey’s Anatomy" and "Scandal." "Grey’s" came back from hiatus to a 3.0 average in 18-49, up three-tenths from its previous original, while "Scandal" ticked up one-tenth to a 3.3. But the 8 p.m. special "Countdown to the Oscars" managed only a 1.0.
NBC settled into a tie for fourth place with Univision, as its Olympics buzz appears to be wearing off. "Hollywood Game Night’s" 1.2 average in the 18-49 demo was the network’s best number, followed by "Parenthood" with a 1.1 and both "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" with 1.0 averages.
For prime time overall, CBS’s 2.5 average in viewers 18-49 was just enough for the win, topping ABC (2.4 average), Fox (1.5), and NBC and Univision (both 1.1). CBS also claimed a win in total viewers, averaging 10.5 million to lead ABC (7.8 million), Fox (6.6 million), NBC (3.2 million) and Univision (2.8 million).