How Low Can ‘Idol’ Go? Former Powerhouse Sinks in the Ratings

Mar 7, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The ratings woes continue for the singing competition that once dominated prime-time television. "American Idol" registered the lowest rating in its 13-season history Thursday night, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "Idol" delivered a 2.2 average rating in viewers 18-49, falling 8% from a week ago. Leading out from "Idol," Fox’s drama series "Rake" delivered another 0.8 — the same as last week — as Fox settled for an uncompetitive third-place finish among the broadcast nets.

In total viewers, "Idol’s" 9.71 million average didn’t come close to the 17.91 million delivered by CBS’s "The Big Bang Theory" in head-to-head competition at 8 p.m., and "Idol’s" total also trailed CBS’s "The Millers" (11.78 million) and "Two and a Half Men" (10.45 million).

In the 18-49 demo, "Idol" trailed not only all three of those CBS sitcoms, but also ABC’s "Scandal" (2.8 average rating) and "Grey’s Anatomy" (2.6).

CBS’s "Big Bang" was once again the dominant show of Thursday night, leading off prime time with a 5.2 average rating in 18-49 (up 4% from a week ago) and helping the Tiffany Network coast to an overall win for the night. "The Millers" delivered a 3.0, up 11%, and "Two and a Half Men" ticked up 8% to a 2.7.

The picture wasn’t entirely rosy for CBS’s comedy lineup, as "The Crazy Ones" continued to struggle, equaling its series low with a 1.7 average in 18-49 — off 11% from a week ago. On the drama side, CBS’s "Elementary" rose 6% to a 1.7.

Second-place ABC brought back "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," which equaled the modest number for its most recent original installment in viewers 18-49, a 0.8 average. The 2.6 average for "Grey’s" was a 16% drop from a week ago, while "Scandal’s" 2.8 represented an 18% drop.

Last place among the big four broadcast nets went to NBC, with no prime-time show doing better than a 1.2 in adults 18-49. Both "Parenthood" and "Parks and Recreation" hit that number, with both series ticking up 9% from last week.

NBC’s "Hollywood Game Night" went the other direction, dipping 8% to a 1.1 average in 18-49, while bubble show "Community" equaled its series low from a week ago, a 1.0.

For prime time overall, CBS’s 2.7 average was the best on broadcast in the 18-49 demo, followed by ABC (2.1 average), Fox (1.5), and NBC and Univision (tied at 1.1). CBS also claimed a comfortable win in total viewers with 10.7 million, ahead of Fox (6.64 million), ABC (6.58 million), NBC (3.3 million) and Univision (2.7 million).

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