TV ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' tops 'Idol' head-to-head, but FOX wins Thursday

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big-bang-ratings-0126.jpgFast National ratings for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012

"The Big Bang Theory" scored a second straight ratings win against "American Idol" on Thursday, leading the one-time juggernaut by better than half a point among adults 18-49 and by about 500,000 viewers in the half-hour they competed head-to-head*.

(*The half-hour breakdown, not reflected in the numbers below, is as follows: From 8 to 8:30 p.m., "Big Bang" drew 16 million viewers and a 5.4 in adults 18-49 to 15.5 million and 4.8 for "Idol.")

Thanks to a surge in its second half, though, "Idol" still ended up as the night's most-watched show and tied "Big Bang" in the demo. The lead-in (and reruns on ABC and CBS) also helped "The Finder" score its best ratings so far.

FOX averaged 12.75 million viewers and a 7.6 rating/12 share among households in primetime, beating out the 11.3 million and 7.0/11 for CBS. There was a big drop from there to third-place ABC (3.9 million, 2.5/4), which aired a night of reruns. NBC (3.65 million 2.4/4) was down as "The Office" took the night off, while The CW scored 1.3 million viewers and a 0.9/1.

FOX's 4.1 rating among adults 18-49 also led the night. CBS finished second in the demographic with a 2.8. NBC took third with a 1.4, followed by ABC, 1.2, and The CW, 0.5.

Photo/Video credit: CBS