Fox's 'American Idol' Down, 'Rake' Steady
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Fox’s “American Idol” dipped a bit Thursday while its low-rated lead-out “Rake” at least managed to maintain at its week-earlier level on a night that was once again ruled by NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the Sochi Games averaged a 5.9 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 22.9 million viewers overall during primetime — with its demo number matching the combined tallies of Fox, CBS, Univision, ABC and Telemundo. Thursday’s action, which included figure skating, women’s speedskating and men’s freestyle skiing, averaged a 14.4 household rating in the metered-market overnights (excluding Atlanta), up from Monday (13.7) and Wednesday (13.3) of this week and in line with Tuesday (14.5).

Meanwhile, Facebook looked at its numbers for the opening week of the Olympics and found more than 24 million people chatted about the event during the first week of the Sochi Games, for a total of 48 million combined posts, comments and “likes.” Figure skating was the most popular sport for all of North America, while the most mentioned athletes mentioned across the globe were Shaun White, Jenny Jones and Michael Christian Martinez.

At Fox, “American Idol” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) dipped slightly below the 3 demo rating and 10 million-viewer mark for the first time (though it could edge up in the nationals), down from last week when it was up against pre-Olympics action; in 18-49, it merely tied a repeat of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” in the 8 o’clock half-hour (2.8). “Rake” followed (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), matching last week’s 18-49 score and down a bit in total viewers.

CBS was led as usual by “The Big Bang Theory” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall for its repeat), which was followed by encores of Thursday regulars “The Millers” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), “The Crazy Ones” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall). From 8 to 10 p.m., the Eye’s reruns nearly equaled Fox’s first-runs in 18-49 (1.8 vs. 2.0) and 25-54 (2.5 vs. 2.6) while pulling ahead in total viewers.

ABC’s cooking competition “The Taste” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) was down slightly week to week as it limps toward its finale next week. At 10 p.m., the net brought back “Scandal” in repeat (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) two weeks from its return to originals.

CW aired repeats of “The Originals” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and “Arrow” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.9/17; Fox, 2.0/6; CBS, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.2/4; ABC, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.5/1; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 22.9 million; CBS and Fox, 7.0 million; Univision, 3.1 million; ABC, 2.8 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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