TV ratings: 'American Idol' stones Tuesday foes but down from last year

siobhan-idol-top-12-320.jpgFast National ratings for Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"American Idol's" top 12 covered the Rolling Stones Tuesday night and scored a decisive ratings win in the process. The show was down a good amount, however, from last year's first show on the big stage.

FOX averaged 22.6 million viewers and a 12.8 rating/20 share in households for the night -- the best of Tuesday by far, but off by more than 2 million viewers from the comparable show last year (25.2 million, 14.5/22). CBS (15.35 million, 9.6/16) was a solid second. There was a big drop from there to third-place NBC, which drew 6.8 million people and a 4.3/7. ABC (5.7 million, 3.5/6) came in fourth, and The CW (1.5 million, 1.0/2) trailed.

The story was pretty much the same in the adults 18-49 demographic. FOX dominated with an 8.0 rating but was down significantly from last year's 9.2. CBS was the best of the rest at 3.1, followed by NBC at 2.6. ABC averaged a 2.2 and The CW a mere 0.7.

Tuesday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (21.5 million viewers, 12.3/20 households)
CBS: "NCIS" (17.6 million, 10.9/18)
NBC: "The Biggest Loser" (6.5 million, 4.1/7)
ABC: "Lost" rerun (3.7 million, 2.5/4)
The CW: "90210" (1.9 million, 1.2/2)

18-49 leader:
"American Idol" (7.5)

9 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (23.6 million, 13.3/21)
CBS: "NCIS: Los Angeles" (15 million, 9.4/14)
ABC: "Lost" (8.8 million, 5.1/8)
NBC: "The Biggest Loser" (8 million, 4.9/8)
The CW: "Melrose Place" (1.2 million, 0.7/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (8.4)

10 p.m.

CBS:
"The Good Wife" (13.4 million, 8.6/15)
NBC: "Parenthood" (5.9 million, 3.9/7)
ABC: Special - "FlashForward: What Did You See?" (4.3 million, 2.8/5)

18-49 leader: "The Good Wife" (2.7)

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 credit: FOX