Thursday 3/24/11 Note: Sacramento is not included in the following averages. The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only. All times are ET/PT.
American Idol (Fox), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Office (NBC)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Community (NBC), Perfect Couples (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), Outsourced (NBC)
It was another overnight Thursday victory for Fox thanks to perennial powerhouse American Idol, which was quite a shocker last night. SPOILER ALERT: If you did not see it yet, stop reading now. But the judges did the absolute right thing using the save for Casey Abrams. There are too many other contestants that need to depart before him.
American Idol scored a considerable 14.6 rating/23 share from 8-9 p.m., which was enough to beat the four competing networks combined. Leading out of Idol was a repeat of Bones at a third-place 5.7/ 9 at 9 p.m.
ABC had nothing unusual to report despite the absence of regularly scheduled programming on CBS. Wipeout opened with a third-place 4.4/ 7 at 8 p.m., followed by Grey’s Anatomy (#1: 8.3/13) and spin-off Private Practice (#1: 6.4/10) from 9-11 p.m. Comparably, Grey’s and Private Practice were virtually identical to their year-ago performances.
Over at CBS, the ongoing NCAA Basketball Tournament scored an estimated 5.3/ 9 in the overnights from 8-11 p.m., which year-to-year was down by 26 percent. But your must remember that the increased exposure for basketball at present (which includes TNT, TBS and truTV) means that the overall audience is spread between four platforms. Once everything is factored in, the basketball numbers will be up from one year earlier. And keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are approximate.
The one standout on NBC last night was The Office, which more than doubled the overnight delivery of canceled lead-in Perfect Couples (#4: 2.2/ 3 at 8:30 p.m.) with a 4.7/ 7 (also #4). While that still may not sound like all that much, The Office could be poised for time period victory among adults 18-49. Last night’s episode set the stage for Steve Carell’s departure. As a reminder, upcoming The Paul Reiser Show will replace Perfect Couples effective on April 14.
Leading out of The Office was critically acclaimed (but low-rated) Parks and Recreation, with dipped to a 3.4/ 5 in the overnights at 9:30 p.m. (#3), followed by 30 Rock (#3: 3.1/ 5) and expected-to-be canceled Outsourced (#3: 2.6/ 4) from 10-11 p.m. Earlier in the evening on NBC, already renewed Community was a bust at a fourth-place 3.1/ 5 at 8 p.m. As I say every week, NBC is in definite need of a mass appeal hit sitcom to anchor Thursday, not something the critics love but few people watch.
In the distant No. 5 spot were repeats of The Vampire Diaries (1.0/ 2) and Nikita (1.0/ 2) on The CW.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Freshman Wednesday Series Update:
Results remain mixed for the recent Wednesday night new programming entries (listed in order of total viewers)