‘Scandal’ holds, ‘Idol’ up on Thursday

Fox wins night; 'Bang' repeat wins at 9 for CBS

With ”The Big Bang Theory” airing a repeat this week, Fox’s ”American Idol” gained some ratings ground to easily stand as Thursday’s top-rated program and team with ”Touch” to lift the net to victory for the night.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 4.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 15.3 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, up about 10% from last Thursday’s season low. It was followed by the steady drama ”Touch” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall). From 8 to 10 p.m., Fox beat its closest pursuers by 23% in adults 18-49 (CBS) and 11% in adults 18-34 (NBC).

At CBS, a repeat ”Big Bang Theory” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) was still good enough for a solid second-place finish at 8, and ”Rules of Engagement” followed (2.7/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) by matching last week’s average despite the lighter lead-in. The net experimented the rest of the evening, replacing ”Person of Interest” with repeats of ”Big Bang” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and ”2 Broke Girls” at 9:30 (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), with ”Bang” narrowly winning in 18-49 at 9 and ”Broke” tying for second. At 10, a special repeat of ”Person of Interest” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) was competitive with ABC’s ”Scandal” in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. One of the potential schedule scenarios for CBS in the fall would see the net expand its Thursday comedy block to two hours, with ”Person of Interest” perhaps closing out the night, as it did Wednesday.

ABC saw ”Missing” edge down week to week (1.4/4 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) while ”Grey’s Anatomy” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) was up a tick from its week-ago season low. At 10, ”Scandal” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) took advantage of softer drama competition in its hour to hold steady or edge up from its premiere in all key categories. If it holds in the nationals, the 2.1 would have to be considered a pretty solid second-week score.

NBC again finished behind Univision on the night in both adults 18-49 and total viewers, as ”Community” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) was up just a tick opposite the ”Big Bang Theory” repeat. ”30 Rock” followed with slight gains vs. last week at 8:30 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), but ”The Office” returned to originals with a season low (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall). The season finale of ”Up All Night” ranked fourth among the major nets at 9:30 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), and ”Awake” held at its low level at 10 (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall).

CW aired repeats of ”The Vampire Diaries” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and ”The Secret Circle” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.2/9; CBS, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.3/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 11.8 million; CBS, 8.8 million; ABC, 8.1 million; Univision, 3.7 million; NBC, 3.2 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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