TV ratings: 'American Idol' results up, lead Thursday by a lot

idol-casey-save-320.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, March 24, 2011

The wild and wacky "American Idol" results show Thursday was up a good amount from last week, carrying FOX to an easy ratings win for the night. Coverage of the NCAA tournament was also up significantly over last year -- but because it was split between CBS and TBS, the Eye's numbers were down compared to the 2010 Sweet 16 round.

Thanks to "Idol," FOX led Thursday by a wide margin, averaging 14.8 million viewers and an 8.6 rating/14 share in households. ABC (8.5 million, 5.4/9) came in second. CBS' 7.15 million viewers and 4.6/8 took third (those numbers may change some because of its live NCAA coverage). NBC (4.7 million, 2.9/5) was up some with a new episode of "The Office." The CW trailed with 1.4 million viewers and a 0.9/1.

FOX also scored the top spot among adults 18-49 with a 4.4 rating. ABC finished second in the demographic with a 2.8, beating CBS' 2.5. NBC averaged 2.1, and The CW was back of the pack at 0.5.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (20.7 million viewers, 11.8/20 households)
ABC: "Wipeout" (7.5 million, 4.1/7)
CBS: NCAA tournament (6.8 million, 4.4/7)
NBC: "Community" (4.5 million, 2.9/5)/"Perfect Couples" (3.4 million, 2.2/4)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" rerun (1.4 million, 0.9/2)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (6.2)

9 p.m.

ABC:
"Grey's Anatomy" (10.1 million, 6.6/11)
FOX: "Bones" rerun (8.8 million, 5.4/9)
CBS: NCAA tournament (6.8 million, 4.4/7)
NBC: "The Office" (7.1 million, 4.2/7)/"Parks and Recreation" (5.2 million, 3.1/5)
The CW: "Nikita" rerun (1.4 million, 0.9/1)

18-49 leader: "Grey's Anatomy" (3.6)

10 p.m.

ABC:
"Private Practice" (8 million, 5.4/9)
CBS: NCAA tournament (7.8 million, 4.9/8)
NBC: "30 Rock" (4.4 million, 2.7/5)/"Outsourced" (3.6 million, 2.3/4)

18-49 leader: NCAA tournament (2.9)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live telecasts. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable

Photo/Video credit: FOX