UPDATE: In “fast official” Nielsen estimates, NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” averaged a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.69 million viewers overall — the show’s best scores in both categories since its Monday premiere. Thursday’s rating is up 8% vs. the 2.4 for Wednesday and 13% higher than the 2.3 for Tuesday.
Excluding the recent finale of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” the 7.69 million is the largest audience for a Thursday episode of “Tonight” in nearly five years (since an appearance by President Obama in March 2009).
As the Winter Olympics wind down, NBC rolled to another easy primetime victory Thursday while Fox’s “American Idol” hit another low — and placed third among young adults for one of its half-hours. In latenight, NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” held even with the prior two nights and continues to dominate.
Univision also had a big night, with its annual “Premio Lo Nuestro Latin Music Awards” tying Fox for second place on the night among young adults.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, action highlighted by figure skating and freestyle skiing lifted the Winter Olympics to a 4.9 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 19.9 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise some in the nationals. As it currently stands, the Sochi Games were down 17% in the demo and 12% in total viewers vs. the comparable night from Vancouver four years ago.
Following the Olympics and late local newscasts, a midnight-1 a.m. installment of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” averaged a 5.3 household rating/15 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, on par with both Tuesday (also a 5.3) and Wednesday (5.2) and again more than double CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (both at 2.0/5).
In the 25 Nielsen markets with Local People Meters, “Tonight” also dominated with a 2.4 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, followed by “Jimmy Kimmel” (0.6/3) and “Late Show” (0.4/2). Thursday’s “Tonight SHow” featured First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell and musical guest Arcade Fire.
At Fox, “American Idol” averaged a 2.4/7 in adults 18-49 (a series low for a regularly scheduled episode) and 9.2 million viewers overall (the show’s smallest audience since its first season in the summer of 2002). It finished not only behind the Olympics on NBC, but also lagged a repeat of CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), which stood as Thursday’s top-rated series. And at 9 p.m., “Rake” dipped to a low (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).
At Univision, the 2014 “Premio Lo Nuestro Latin Music Awards” from Miami averaged a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 4.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., putting the network tied with Fox for second place among the broadcast networks in adults 18-49 and in second place outright (behind only the Olympics) in adults 18-34 (1.6/6).
Following “Big Bang,” CBS aired a special repeat of Monday rookie comedy “Mom” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and the new-timeslot debuts of “Two and a Half Men” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “The Crazy Ones” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), which have flipped time periods. A repeat of “Elementary” closed out the night (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).
ABC’s low-rated cooking competition “The Taste” ended its run with a 0.9/3 in 18-49 and 3.2 million viewers overall — on par in the demo and up a bit in total viewers from last week. “Scandal,” which will be back in originals starting next week, closed out the night Thursday for ABC with a rerun (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).
CW aired repeats of “The Originals” on a special night (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) and “Reign” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.9/14; Fox and Univision, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.6/5; ABC, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.3/1; CW, 0.2/1.
In total viewers: NBC, 19.9 million; CBS and Fox, 6.6 million; Univision, 4.3 million; ABC, 3.0 million; Telemundo, 1.0 million; CW, 0.8 million.