As February sweep kicked in last night, we had our first all-original Thursday competition on the broadcast networks since the return of American Idol. As expected, the newest entry, midseason comedy Perfect Couples (1.4/4) was the hardest hit by Idol, down 18% from last week’s performance which, in turn, was down 19% from the comedy’s Thursday debut. With the exception of 30 Rock (2.4/6), which was flat, all other NBC comedies were down week-to-week as competition increased with original Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy and The Mentalist. Community (2.0/5) was down 9% from last week, The Office down 8% and Parks & Recreation (2.5/6) down an alarming 17%. Outsourced (1.8/5) was down a modest 5% and showed a solid 75% retention of its 30 Rock lead-in.
Fox’s American Idol (7.5/20, 21.8 million) continues to hold up well, down 3% from last week in 18-49 and total viewers and towering over the competition. Airing against an original Grey’s and CSI, Bones (3.3, 10.9 million) was down 15%.
CBS’ Big Bang Theory (4.3/12) showed growth against Idol, up 2% vs. its last original 2 weeks ago. It also manged to finish as the highest-rated scripted program of the night, edging ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (4.2/11, down 2% from Jan. 13) which did not face Idol. With an original Big Bang as a lead-in, $#*! My Dad Says (2.8/7) was up 22% from last week when it followed a repeat. CSI (3.0/8, 13.8 million) was down from its last original on Jan. 6 while The Mentalist (2.8/8, 15.1 million) was flat.
Like Big Bang, ABC’s Winter Wipeout (2.5/7) gained slightly against Idol, up 4% from last week. Private Practice (2.6/7) was down 4% for a season low.
CW’s The Vampire Diaries (3.2 million, 1.7/5 in 18-34) was down slightly from last week, by a tenth in the 18-34 demo and 3% in total viewers, while gaining slightly, by 4%, in women 18-34 (2.4/7). Nikita (2.4 million) was down 8% in viewers.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.