Fox wins night, though, with 'Idol'

The final Steve Carell episode of ”The Office” was the second-highest rated show Thursday, helping NBC show some muscle on a night where it’s usually dominated.

Fox, however, was best, fueled by ”American Idol” (5.5 rating/16 share in the 18-49 demo, 19 million viewers). The reality juggernaut was down 9% in the demo from a week ago, though, as well as a decline in total viewers of about 1.3 million. ”Idol” was followed by ”Bones” (2.8/7, 9.8m), also down from last week.

The network race behind Fox was very competitive. NBC tied CBS, while ABC was just fractions behind.

For the last Carell appearance, ”The Office” expanded to 50 minutes and drew a 4.1/10, and 8.1 million viewers. The demo jumped 20% and the episode snared an additional 1.3 million viewers.

”Parks and Recreation” (2.3/6, 4.6m) didn’t seem to benefit following the well-watched ”Office,” seeing its numbers slightly decrease in the 10 p.m. timeslot. ”30 Rock” (1.9/5, 3.9m) was also a bit lower.

CBS opened the night with ”The Big Bang Theory” (3.2/10, 10.4m), down 14% from its last original episode on April 7. That was followed by ”Rules of Engagement” (2.3/6, 7.7) and ”CSI” (2.3/6, 10.5m), which came in fourth place in the 9 p.m. hour , a rarity for an original episode of the Eye’s longtime procedural staple , but it still drew the most viewers.

”The Mentalist,” however, won the 10 o’clock slot for CBS with a 2.6/7, 13.2m. That was better than the NBC sitcom offerings and ABC’s ”Private Practice” (2.2/6, 6.6m).

To start the night, the Alphabet got little traction with an hourlong special ”The Royal Wedding: A Modern Fairytale” (1.3/4, 6.9m). Lead-out ”Grey’s Anatomy” fared better (3.5/9, 10.3m) and remains a solid Thursday performer.

The CW aired ”The Vampire Diaries” (1.2/3, 2.6m) and ”Nikita” (0.6/2, 1.7m).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.2/11; CBS, 2.5/7; NBC, 2.5/7; ABC, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.3/3; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 14.4 million; CBS, 10.9 million; ABC, 7.9 million; NBC, 5.2 million; Univision, 3.1 million; CW, 2.1 million.

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