CBS, Univision skeins trump net repeats

It was no contest Thursday for Fox and ”American Idol,” which won an easy primetime victory on a night that NBC and ABC hardly registered.

After second-place CBS, Univision finished the night ahead of repeat-heavy ABC and NBC, with CW close behind the latter two.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the 8 p.m. ”Idol” (6.2 rating/19 share in 18-49, 20.6 million viewers overall) dropped a hair from the previous week but still had no trouble edging the demo’s second most-watched program, CBS’ ”The Big Bang Theory” (3.6/12, 11.2 million). At 8:30 p.m. CBS’ ”Rules of Engagement” (2.5/8, 8.6 million) improved more than 5% over its week-earlier performance.

”Bones” (3.4/9, 11.2 million) rode the Fox wave to an 18-49 victory at 9 p.m. over CBS’ ”CSI” (2.9/8, 12.6 million). With Fox out of the way at 10 p.m., the Eye’s ”The Mentalist” (2.9/8, 14.7 million) dominated.

Illustrating the yawning gap in ratings for ABC’s Thursday dramas when they go to reruns, ”Grey’s Anatomy” (1.4/4, 4.0 million) and ”Private Practice” (0.8/2, 2.5 million) fell approximately 70% Thursday compared with their firstrun airings in the previous week.

In contrast, ratings for a new episode of the CW’s ”Vampire Diaries” (1.2/4, 2.7 million) more than doubled from seven days before, and a fresh ”Nikita” (0.7/2, 1.8 million) also gained considerably.

NBC had comedy reruns in four of its six halfhour slots, the exceptions being ”Perfect Couples” (1.0/3, 2.3 million) at 8:30 p.m. and ”Outsourced” (1.3/4, 2.9 million). Topping the repeats was ”The Office” (1.7/5, 3.6 million).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox 4.8/14, CBS 2.9/8, Univision 1.6/4, NBC 1.3/4, ABC 1.2/4, CW 1.0/3.

In total viewers: Fox 16.0 million, CBS 12.4 million, Univision 4.1 million, ABC 3.9 million, NBC 2.8 million, CW 2.3 million.

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