TV Ratings: ‘American Idol’ and ‘Touch’ give FOX Thursday win, ‘Community’ and ‘Missing’ drop

Senior Television Writer
03.23.12 8 Comments

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 22, 2012.

“American Idol” and the strong return of “Touch” helped FOX to an easy win in the Thursday ratings. Meanwhile, “Community” fans might want to hold further talk of six seasons and a movie after the NBC comedy took a sizable dip after last week’s promising numbers, and a good chunk of Ashley Judd’s fans went “Missing” from last week’s premiere.

For the night, FOX averaged a 3.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, and 13.4 million viewers overall. CBS’ March Madness coverage was a distant second, with a 2.3 demo rating and 6.7 million viewers, followed by NBC (1.4, 3.8 million), ABC (1.2, 5.6 million) and the CW (1.0, 2.2 million).

8 p.m. — The “Idol” results show averaged a 4.0 rating and 15 million viewers for FOX, followed by CBS’ NCAA tournament action (2.2, 7 million). NBC and ABC tied for the hour in the demo at a 1.6, though “Missing” drew 8.9 million viewers to only 3.6 million for the “Community”/”30 Rock” combo. “Missing” was down 20 percent from its premiere demo numbers. Last week, “Community” did a 2.2 with 4.9 million viewers, and was down last night to a 1.7 and 3.9 million. On the bright side, that’s still up over the show’s fall average of 1.6 (albeit with no “Big Bang Theory” as competition this time), and it was NBC’s highest-rated show in the demo for the night (though “Awake” got a bigger audience), and once again finished (slightly) ahead of “Idol” in adults 18-34 (2.1 to 2.0). “The Vampire Diaries” (1.3, 2.7 million) was in fifth for the CW.

9 p.m. — FOX’s decision to air “Touch” after “Idol” paid off, as its ratings (3.2, 11.7 million) were only down about 20 percent from the “Idol” lead-in. Basketball on CBS (2.3, 7 million) was second, followed by NBC’s “30 Rock”/”Up All Night” combo (1.5, 3.3 million), a “Grey’s Anatomy” repeat (1.2, 4.7 million) on ABC, and “The Secret Circle” (0.7, 1.7 million) for the CW.

10 p.m. — More basketball (2.4, 6.3 million) won the hour for CBS, while “Awake” (1.2, 4.6 million) lost a quarter of its young adult audience from last week (though its overall numbers only dropped 8 percent). A “Private Practice” rerun (0.9, 3.4 million) was in third for ABC.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.

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