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American Idol earns lowest rating since season one

Date February 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Fox's "American Idol" scored its lowest rating since the show's first season as CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" beat it decisively in the key demographic Thursday, according to preliminary numbers. CBS and Fox tied in the ratings as CBS grabbed more total viewers.

TheWrap reported Tuesday that NBCs "The Voice" is the top-rated show so far this season following eight seasons of "Idol" being television's top-rated series. Ratings like "Idol" scored Thursday won't help the show regain its crown.

Airing at 8 p.m., "Idol" was down 14 percent from last Thursday with a 4.4/13 and 15.4 million total viewers. It last scored a 4.4 rating for a first-season episode that aired on July 24, 2002. (It's worth noting, however, that "Idol" often gains slightly on its preliminary numbers.)

Overall, CBS had an average 3.2 rating/9 share in the demo and 13.7 million total viewers. "Big Bang Theory" at 8 p.m. inched up from last week for a 5.2/15 in the demo and 16.1 million total viewers. "Rob!" at 8:30 ticked down to a series low of 3.0/8 in the demo, with 10.6 million total viewers, while "Person of Interest" at 9 was up 11 percent from last week with a 3.1/8 in the demo and 14.4 million. "The Mentalist" closed the night at 10 with a 2.5/7 in the demo and 13.2 million total viewers.

Fox, like CBS, averaged a 3.2/9 in the demo. But it averaged 10.8 million total viewers. After "Idol," "The Finder" at 9 posted a 2.0/5 in the demo and 6.2 million total viewers.

ABC was third in the ratings and total viewers, with an average 2.3/6 and 6.8 million. "Wipeout" at 8 ran even with last week's airing for a 1.5/4 in the demo and 5 million total viewers, while "Grey's Anatomy" the following hour posted a 3.1/8 in the demo and 8.9 million total viewers. "Private Practice" at 10, which last week was lifted by a "Grey's Anatomy" crossover, dropped 15 percent for a 2.2/6 in the demo and 6.4 million total viewers.

NBC was a distant fourth in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.6/4 in the demo and 3.3 million total viewers. "30 Rock" at 8 was even with last week for a 1.5/4 in the demo and 3.7 million total viewers, followed by "Parks & Recreation" at 8:30, which was also even with last week, receiving a 1.7/5 in the demo and 3.4 million total viewers. "The Office" at 9 was up 13 percent from last week with a 2.6/7 in the demo and 5 million total viewers, while "Up All Night" at 9:30 was also up, climbing 20 percent from last week for a 1.8/4 in the demo and 3.5 million total viewers. The network finished the night with a "Grimm" repeat.

(Editing By Zorianna Kit)

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