TV Ratings: ‘American Idol’ Hangs Tough in Second Sunday Outing

ABC’s “American Idol” delivered credible numbers in its second Sunday outing, leading the night in the adults 18-49 demo.

CBS’ new Alan Cumming drama “Instinct” got off to a late start in East Coast markets after the Eye’s NCAA March Madness coverage spilled over into primetime, delaying the start of “60 Minutes” by a half-hour. The season premiere of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” and series premiere of “Genius Junior” were ho-hum performers against “Idol.”

From 8-1o p.m. “American Idol” delivered 7.7 million viewers and 1.8 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. “Idol” was down about 21% in the demo from its premiere last Sunday, a respectable retention rate following the heavily promoted premiere. Although the show is not likely to be the big-tent smash that it was for Fox in its heyday, the tune-in interest in “Idol” was evident as it grew considerably at 8 p.m. in the demo from its “America’s Funniest Home Videos” lead-in (5.3 million viewers, 0.8 in 18-49).

Instinct” grabbed 8.8 million viewers and 1.0 rating in the key demo from 8:30-9:30 p.m., coming out of “60 Minutes” (10 million viewers, 1.6 in adults 18-49) that was inflated by the NCAA coverage.

NBC’s Steve Harvey-hosted “Little Big Shots” yielded 7.5 million viewers and 1.1 in the demo at 8 p.m. The bow of Neil Patrick Harris-fronted quiz show “Genius Junior” weighed in at 9 p.m. with 5.1 million and 1.0/3 share in 18-49.

NBC sank at 10 p.m. with “Timeless” generating just 2.9 million viewers and 0.7/3 in the demo, although those numbers will plump up with delayed viewing. ABC also struggled to hang on to the “Idol” lead-in with drama “Deception” falling to 4.2 million viewers and 0.9 in 18-49.

Fox’s comedy lineup was on par with its typical deliveries, led by “Family Guy” (2.3 million viewers, 1.0 in adults 18-49) at 9 p.m.

For the night, ABC tied CBS in adults 18-49 with 1.3. CBS had a big lead in viewers (9 million) over second-ranked ABC (6.2 million).

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