Fox Wins Thursday Night Despite Historically Low Ratings for ‘Idol’

Feb 17, 2012  •  Post A Comment

On a slow night for the broadcast networks, Fox took a comfortable ratings win in the key demo and total viewers even as its workhorse “American Idol” posted declines, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.

“Idol’s” two-hour installment was down 14% in adults 18-49 from the one-hour episode a week earlier, posting a 5.0 average — the show’s lowest number since its first season, back in 2002. In a head-to-head battle with “The Big Bang Theory,” the first half-hour of “Idol” at 8 p.m. trailed the CBS sitcom’s 5.0 in the demo, managing only a 4.6.

For the night, Fox’s 5.0 average in 18-49 topped CBS (3.3 average), ABC (2.4), Univision (2.2) and NBC (1.4). Fox averaged 16.5 million viewers, more than CBS (13.3 million), ABC (6.8 million), Univision (5.1 million) and NBC (3.1 million).

Most of the broadcast shows were down compared with a week earlier. On CBS, “The Big Bang Theory’s” 5.0 in viewers 18-49 was down 10% from the show’s season high last week. “Rob” was down a tenth to a 3.2, “Person of Interest” was down 12% to a 2.9 and “The Mentalist” fell off 7% to a 2.8.

ABC’s “Wipeout” tied its season low with a 1.5 in the 18-49 demo, while “Grey’s Anatomy” was off an alarming 23% to a 3.1. The good news for ABC came from “Private Practice,” which surged 18% to a 2.6.

NBC had little to cheer about, with series lows in 18-49 for “The Office” (2.2 average), “Parks & Recreation” (1.7) and “Up All Night” (1.5).

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