'Grey's' musical episode hits high marks

A throng of viewers ”Mobbed” Fox on Thursday, cementing the network’s typical primetime ratings victory that night.

Audiences also came out strong for the heavily promoted musical episode of ”Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC, which finished in second place Thursday among viewers 18-49.

Of course, the night’s most watched program was ”American Idol” (6.7 rating/20 share in 18-49, 22.0 million viewers overall), which won the 8 p.m. hour handily. ”Grey’s” (4.8/12, 12.7 million), which hit its highest ratings marks in most categories since September, was the 9 p.m. leader.

However, the premiere of ”Mobbed” (3.8/10, 10.8 million), hosted by Howie Mandel, gave Fox its most-watched unscripted program to follow an episode of ”Idol” since ”Hell’s Kitchen” in January 2009. ”Mobbed” retained all of its 18-49 rating from its first halfhour to its second, and grew among viewers 18-34.

At 10 p.m., CBS took a turn as the frontrunner with ”The Mentalist” (2.8/7, 13.9 million), which edged ABC’s ”Private Practice” (2.7/7, 7.6 million) in 18-49.

CBS’ night began with ”The Big Bang Theory” (3.6/12, 11.7 million) and ”Rules of Engagement” (2.3/7, 8.2 million), followed by ”CSI” (2.8/7, 12.5 million), whose ratings all but matched ”The Mentalist” despite the tougher competition at 9 p.m.

ABC finished third at 8 p.m. with ”Wipeout” (1.9/6, 6.3 million), which topped the start of a desultory ratings night for NBC’s comedies. ”Community” (0.9/3, 2.3 million) was a rerun, but ”Perfect Couples” (1.0/3, 2.1 million) hit a series low even with a new episode.

NBC ran laffer repeats the rest of the night, topped by ”The Office” (1.5/4, 3.2 million) at 9 p.m.

The CW aired ”The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/1, 1.2 million) and ”Nikita” (0.4/1, 1.2 million).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox 5.2/15, ABC 3.1/9, CBS 2.9/8, Univision 1.6/4, NBC 1.1/3, CW 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox 16.4 million, CBS 12.1 million, ABC 8.9 million, Univision 4.1 million, NBC 2.3 million, CW 1.2 million.

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