Nellie Andreeva

After the dramatic American Idol results show last week featuring the elimination of 11 semifinalists, which shot up 15% from the week before and 30% from last year, the show came back to Earth last night with a respectable showing as broadcasters faced big NBA games on TNT. The hourlong first Top 13 elimination round drew 21.7 million viewers and a 6.5/19 in 18-49. That was down 21% in the demo from last week’s highly rated two-hour episode but down only 4% in the demo and up 6% in total viewers vs. the corresponding telecast last season. At 9 PM, Bones (3.4/10) was up 3% from its last original Feb. 17. Fox dominated the night in viewers and 18-49.

CBS, the only other network to air originals, showed gains. The Big Bang Theory (3.8/11) was flat with its last original two weeks ago, but Rules of Engagement (2.8/8) perked up with a 17% ratings increase vs. last week when it followed a repeat Big Bang. CSI (3.1/9) was up 15% from Feb. 24, The Mentalist (3.0/9) was up 7%. (CBS had local preemptions for college basketball in smaller markers on the East Coast that are not expected to significantly impact ratings when the finals are announced.)

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

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