TV ratings: 'American Idol's' Top 24 gives FOX a big win

idol-top-24-2011.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

"American Idol" scored an easy ratings win for FOX Thursday night as it revealed its Top 24. The first half of the two-hour show didn't score quite as high as last week's one-hour episode, but the second hour pushed some of its competitors down a good amount. NBC, meanwhile, had kind of a rough night.

FOX ruled the night with 21.6 million viewers and an 11.9 rating/19 share in households, beating CBS (12.7 million, 7.8/13) by nearly 9 million viewers. ABC came in third with 7.6 million viewers and a 4.8/8. NBC (4.3 million, 2.5/4) was a relatively distant fourth, while The CW (2.5 million, 1.4/2) was fairly steady compared to last week.

FOX's 7.2 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic was more than double that of its nearest rival, CBS (3.0). ABC posted a 2.6 in the demo, half a point better than NBC's 2.1. The CW earned a 1.0.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (21.3 million viewers, 11.9/19 households)
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory" (12.5 million, 7.5/12)/"Rules of Engagement" (9.6 million, 5.8/9)
ABC: "Wipeout" (7.1 million, 4.0/6)
NBC: "Community" (3.9 million, 2.4/4)/"Perfect Couples" (3 million, 1.8/3)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" (2.9 million, 1.7/3)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (7.0)

9 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (21.8 million, 11.9/19)
CBS: "CSI" (12.5 million, 7.7/12)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" (9.1 million, 5.8/9)
NBC: "The Office" (6.2 million, 3.6/6)/"Parks and Recreation" (4.65 million, 2.7/4)
The CW: "Nikita" (2 million, 1.2/2)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (7.3)

10 p.m.

CBS:
"The Mentalist" (14.7 million, 9.0/15)
ABC: "Private Practice" (6.7 million, 4.6/8)
NBC: "30 Rock" (4.5 million, 2.7/4)/"Outsourced" (3.4 million, 2.1/4)

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