TV Rating: Dropping ‘Idol,’ rising ‘Big Bang Theory’ help CBS reclaim Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 23, 2012.
Another night of slipping “American Idol” ratings (and another drop from “The Finder”), combined with bounce-back ratings for “The Big Bang Theory” and “Person of Interest” helped CBS recover Thursday supremacy overall and a share of the nightly lead in the key demo.
Among adults 18-49, CBS and FOX both averaged a 3.2 rating to win the night in the key demographic, though that was obviously only good news for one of them. ABC was third with a 2.3 rating, followed by NBC’s 1.6 rating. The CW shifted to repeats and dropped to a 0.4 key demo rating.
Overall, though, CBS comfortably won the night with an 8.3 rating/13 share and an average of 13.65 million viewers. FOX was second with a 6.5/10 and 10.805 million viewers. ABC’s 6.77 million viewers and 4.5/7 more than doubled the 2.1/3 and 3.33 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged 1.1 million viewers and a 0.7/1.
[Univision averaged 3.53 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday night.]
8 p.m. – FOX’s “American Idol” won the 8 p.m. hour overall with 15.39 million viewers, but only a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49. CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (16.105 million and a 5.2 key demo rating) rose and won its half-hour easily, while “Rob” (10.63 million viewers and a 3.0 key demo rating) slipped a little. ABC’s “Wipeout” was third overall with 4.99 million viewers and fourth with a 1.5 key demo rating. NBC’s “30 Rock” (3.705 million and a 1.5 key demo) and “Parks & Recreation” (3.42 million and a 1.5 key demo) followed. The CW’s repeat of “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 1.29 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo.
9 p.m. – CBS moved into first for the 9 p.m. hour with the 14.41 million viewers and 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 for “Person of Interest,” which was down from its series high numbers two weeks ago, but up from last week. ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” tied for the hour lead with a 3.1 key demo rating and averaged 8.91 million viewers for second. FOX was third overall, but fourth in the key demo with 6.22 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating for “The Finder.” On NBC, “The Office” bounced back a bit to 4.98 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating, while “Up All Night” also improved over last week with 3.45 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo. The CW’s repeat of “Supernatural” averaged 914,000 viewers.
10 p.m. – “The Mentalist” actually dropped from last week, but still averaged 13.18 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 10 p.m. hour for CBS. ABC’s “Private Practice” was second with 6.41 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo. NBC trailed with 2.22 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating for a repeat of “Grimm.”
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.