On night of repeats, drama wins at 10; 'Idol' dominates

Taking advantage of repeats on the competition Thursday, Fox’s ”American Idol” had its best showing on the night this season to lead the net to an easy victory in key demos. And closing thing out, NBC drama ”Awake” got off to a fairly good start, building on its comedy lead-in.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 5.3 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 18.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., up nearly 20% vs. last week’s hourlong episode and the best of three installments this week. Head-to-head, it beat out runner-up CBS (in repeats) by 9 shares in both 18-49 and 25-54.

Over at NBC, the net’s comedy block couldn’t gain any ground despite facing repeats of ”The Big Bang Theory” and the 9 o’clock dramas on ABC and CBS. The struggling ”30 Rock” got the night off to a slow start (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), and ”Parks and Recreation” managed a slight build at 8:30 (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall). Also on par with last week, if not slightly below, were ”The Office” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and ”Up All Night” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall).

And at 10, alternative-reality drama ”Awake” averaged a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 6.2 million viewers overall to top its repeat broadcast competition; it built on its ”Up All Night” lead-in, but then fell from a 2.1 demo rating in its first half-hour to a 1.8 in its second. The Jason Isaacs-fronted ”Awake” bested the premiere last fall of ”Prime Suspect” (1.8), which went on to average a 1.4 same-night demo rating for its 11 original Thursday episodes. NBC hasn’t done better with regular programming Thursday at 10 since February of last year (”30 Rock” and ”Outsourced”).

Elsewhere, even in repeat, CBS comedy ”The Big Bang Theory” was the night’s No. 1 scripted show (3.2/10 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall). And at 8:30, the season finale of ”Rob” hung in there pretty well despite hitting a low (2.6/7 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), down just three tenths from last week even though its ”Big Bang” lead-in fell off 2 whole ratings points. Closing out the night for CBS were repeat crime dramas ”Person of Interest” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and ”The Mentalist” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall).

ABC had a quiet night with repeats of ”Wipeout” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and ”Grey’s Anatomy” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) followed by a special encore of the post-Oscars episode of ”Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall).

CW aired repeats of ”The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and ”Supernatural” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.3/15; CBS, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.9/5; Univision, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.3 million; CBS, 9.5 million; NBC, 4.7 million; ABC, 3.7 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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