TV Ratings: ‘American Idol’ results, ‘Person of Interest’ high lead Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 8, 2012.
Series high numbers for “Person of Interest” combined with a strong “Big Bang Theory” helped CBS rule Thursday night overall and tie with “American Idol”-driven FOX among young viewers.
Meanwhile, “Awake” took a big drop for NBC in its second airing, “Parks & Recreation” headed into a hiatus on a high-ish note and “The Finder” headed off to Fridays with a better-than-average performance.
[Note: CBS had some preemptions for college basketball conference in some markets at some points. While all numbers are within range of prior performance, there’s likely to be some minor changes when final figures are released.]
Among adults 18-49, CBS and FOX both averaged a 3.6 rating, doubling up NBC’s 1.8 rating in the key demographic. ABC averaged a 1.4 rating and The CW had a 0.4 key demo rating.
Overall, though, CBS had first place to itself, averaging 14.54 million viewers and a 9.0 rating/14 share for Thursday primetime. FOX’s 7.3/11 and 12.13 million viewers finished second for the night. There was a huge drop to ABC’s 2.7/4 and 4.165 million viewers and NBC’s 2.5/4 and 4.05 million. The CW averaged 1.03 million viewers and a 0.7/1.
[Univision averaged 3.51 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday primetime.]
8 p.m. – “American Idol” started primetime in first for FOX with 16.98 million viewers and a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49, both down from the comparable hour last week. CBS was a close second with a new “Big Bang Theory” (15.22 million viewers and a 5.1 key demo) and a “Big Bang Theory” repeat (12.87 million viewers and a 4.0 key demo). ABC’s “Wipeout” repeat was third overall with 4.56 million viewers and fourth with a 1.3 key demo rating. NBC followed with “30 Rock” (3.49 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo) and “Parks and Recreation” (3.77 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo). The CW’s repeat of “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 1.17 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo.
9 p.m. – “Person of Interest” claimed first for CBS with a whopping 15.78 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. hour. FOX was second with 7.28 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating for the last “Finder” episode to air in this time slot. NBC’s “The Office” (4.97 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo) and “Up All Night” (3.54 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo) finished third for the full hour. ABC got 4.09 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating for a “Grey’s Anatomy” repeat. On The CW, a repeat of “Supernatural” averaged 888,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo.
10 p.m. – CBS remained in first for the 10 p.m. hour with 13.79 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 for “The Mentalist.” NBC’s “Awake” took second place with 4.25 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating, slipping only a little in the key demo, but shedding nearly two million viewers from its premiere. On ABC, an encore of the “GCB” premiere averaged 3.84 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.