TV Ratings: 'American Idol' drops 14% from premiere, still wins big

jacee-badeaux-american-idol.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

"American Idol" saw a drop-off between the premiere and night two, but it still ruled the night handily with an average of 22.6 million viewers, a loss of about 14% from the premiere, and its 18-49 demo rating fell from 9.7 to 7.7. The singing competition did see an uptick of 4 million viewers from the first half hour to the second during Thursday's broadcast, however, and it propelled FOX to an overall win with 16.8 million viewers and a 9.4 rating/15 share.

Coming in second was CBS with 13.6 million viewers and an 8.3/13. NBC's three-hour, six-show comedy extravaganza was good for eking out third place with 5.43 million and a 3.2/5, while ABC was right behind with 5.42 million viewers and a 3.3/5, though "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" were reruns. The CW drew 1.34 million and a 0.8/1, but was also in reruns.

In the 18-49 demo, FOX also led with a 5.7. CBS (3.1) took second, but NBC at 2.8 had a much wider lead over ABC at 1.7 in the demo than the total viewers. The CW earned 0.5.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX: "American Idol" (22.6 million, 12.4/20)
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory" (13.6 million, 8.1/13)/"$#*! My Dad Says" (10.3 million, 6.2/10)
ABC: "Wipeout" (8.3 million viewers, 4.4/7 households)
NBC: "Community" (4.7 million, 2.8/5)/ "Perfect Couples" (4.2 million, 2.5/4)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" rerun (1.4 million, 0.8/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (7.7)

9 p.m.

CBS: "CSI" (14.3 million, 8.5/13)
FOX: "Bones" (10.9 million, 6.5/10)
NBC: "The Office" (8.3 million, 4.6/7)/ "Parks and Recreation" (6.2 million, 3.6/6)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" rerun (4.7 million, 3.0/5)
The CW: "Nikita" rerun (1.5 million, 0.9/1)

18-49 leader: "The Office"/"Parks and Recreation (3.9)

10 p.m.

CBS:
"The Mentalist" (14.7 million, 9.1/15)
NBC: "30 Rock" (5.3 million, 3.1/5)/ "Outsourced" (3.95 million, 2.5/4)
ABC: "Private Practice" rerun (3.3 million, 2.3/4)

18-49 leader: "The Mentalist" (2.8)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

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Photo/Video credit: FOX