Fox’s ‘American Idol’ Rules Thursday, But Again Tumbles From Last Year

CBS repeats top NBC originals in comedy battle; 'Shark Tank' rerun aids ABC, but 'Taste' tumbles

American Idol

UPDATE: The only update in Nielsen’s national 18-49 averages came for Fox’s “American Idol,” which rose to a 3.9 rating and a 12 share and 13.53 million viewers overall — the top scores for any telecast Thursday. As a result, it came in down 30% in the demo and 18% in total viewers vs. its opening Thursday of a year ago. And the uptick means its Wednesday to Thursday falloff this week was 17% in 18-49.


Fox’s “American Idol” rolled over the competition in key demos on Thursday, though it was down considerably from last year — as was its premiere one night earlier — and it faced about as soft of competition it could hope for. Repeats of CBS’ comedies, meanwhile, easily beat their original counterparts on NBC as the Peacock continues to find it difficult to make audiences laugh on this night.

According to Nielsen estimates, “American Idol,” opposite repeats of the CBS comedies and originals of modestly rated lineups on ABC and NBC, averaged a 3.8 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 13.2 million viewers overall for its two-hour Thursday premiere. This left it down 32% in 18-49 (from 5.6) and 19% in total viewers (from 16.3 million) from its opening Thursday of a year ago and the show’s softest start to date.

The Wednesday to Thursday dropoff in 18-49 this year (19%, 3.8 vs. 4.7) was also greater than last year’s slight 7% decline from its premiere (6.0) to night two (5.6).

Still, “Idol” beat its combined ABC-CBS-NBC competition in adults 18-49 (3.8 to 3.6) while drawing nearly as many total viewers as those nets (13.2 million vs. 13.5 million). Beginning next week, an hourlong “Idol” will lead into the premiere of Greg Kinnear series “Rake.”

Elsewhere Thursday, CBS placed second even though it went with repeats of its regulars “The Big Bang Theory” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall), “The Millers” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), “The Crazy Ones” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), “Two and a Half Men” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

“Big Bang” was the night’s No. 1 scripted program, and each CBS repeat comedy beat the NBC original in its respective timeslot by 50% or more in adults 18-49.

If NBC was hoping to steal away some CBS comedy viewers as the Eye went to repeats, it didn’t pan out. “Community” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), “Parks and Recreation” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), “Sean Saves the World” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and “The Michael J. Fox Show” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) all were down week to week.

In the 10 o’clock hour, the Peacock’s “Parenthood” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week, and ABC’s encore of “Shark Tank” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) tied it in 18-49 — doubling the prior week’s average for failed drama “The Assets,” which was pulled after its second episode logged a week 0.6.

ABC’s two-hour “The Taste” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) clearly lost some reality viewers to “American Idol,” as it slid a big 31% (0.4) from its passable 1.3 demo rating of last week to its lowest score of the season.

At CW, the “Critics Choice Movie Awards” averaged a 0.4/1 in 18-49 and about 2 million viewers overall — down in demos but up a bit in total viewers from last year’s show, which aired one week earlier. This was the largest overall audience for the kudocast, which had aired on VH1 before shifting to CW, in eight years.

Univision ranked third among the broadcasters Thursday in 18-49, led by a second-place finish in the 9 o’clock hour for “Lo Que la Vida Me Robo” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.8/11; CBS, 1.5/5; Univision, 1.2/3; ABC and NBC, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 13.2 million; CBS, 7.2 million; ABC, 3.3 million; NBC and Univision, 3.1 million; CW, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.