TV Ratings: Stable ‘American Idol,’ rising ‘Person of Interest’ lead Thursday split

Fast National ratings for Thursday, February 2, 2012.
FOX’s “American Idol” ended the audition phase of its season with an episode that remained flat from last week and helped the network narrowly carry Thursday among young viewers, but it was CBS taking the night overall, thanks to big numbers for “The Big Bang Theory” and “Person of Interest.”
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 3.9 rating for the night, edging out CBS’ 3.5 rating in the key demographic. ABC was third with a 2.5 rating, followed by NBC’s 1.5 rating. The CW averaged a 0.9 rating in the key demo.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 14.1 million viewers to go with an 8.6 rating/14 share. FOX was second for the night with a 7.1/11 and 12.025 million viewers. ABC’s 4.8/6 and 7.41 million were good for a distant third, beating NBC’s 2.3/4 and 3.64 million viewers. The CW averaged 2.24 million viewers and a 1.5/2 for the night.
[Univision averaged 3.65 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Thursday primetime.]
8 p.m. – FOX’s “American Idol” averaged 17.12 million viewers and a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 for the St. Louis audition episode, stable from last Thursday among young viewers and up very slightly in total viewers. Once again, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (16.38 million and a 5.4 key demo rating) beat “Idol” both overall and in the demo for its half-hour, but “Rob” (11.28 million and a 3.4 key demo rating) did not. ABC’s “Wipeout” averaged 5.93 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating for third. On NBC, “30 Rock” (3.21 million and a 1.3 key demo) delivered low numbers, while “Parks and Recreation” (3.645 million and a 1.8 key demo) rose a tiny bit from last week. The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” averaged 2.72 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating.
9 p.m. – “Person of Interest” hit series highs for CBS with 14.92 million viewers and finished second for the hour with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. ABC’s heavily hyped alt-reality “Grey’s Anatomy” episode averaged only 9.64 million viewers for second, but won the hour with a 3.5 key demo rating. After last week’s encouraging bump against repeats, FOX’s “The Finder” slipped to 6.93 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating in third.  On NBC, “The Office” (5.27 million and a 2.7 key demo rating) and “Up All Night” (3.76 million and a 1.8 key demo) finished fourth. The CW’s “The Secret Circle” averaged 1.75 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
10 p.m. – CBS closed primetime in first with 13.54 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 for “The Mentalist.” ABC’s “Private Practice” was second with 6.65 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating. NBC’s “The Firm” dropped big from last week with 2.98 million viewers and a 0.8 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.