Nellie Andreeva

Will Ferrell’s debut on The Office (3.9/11 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers) last night gave a boost to the NBC comedy, which was up 15% from its most recent original March 24 in 18-49. The ratings gains carried over to Parks and Recreation (2.6/7, 5.2 million), up 8% for its best numbers in almost three months; 30 Rock (2.2/6), up 16%; and Outsourced (1.7/5), up 21% from last week, when it had a repeat as lead-in. But things were far less uplifting in the 8 PM hour. Community (1.4/5, 3.5 million) was down 22% in 18-49 from its last original March 24. Then there was the premiere of The Paul Reiser Show (1.1/3, 3.3 million) at 8:30 PM. It was down a whopping 48% from the January debut of Perfect Couples in the time slot to rank as NBC’s lowest-rated in-season comedy series premiere ever.

Fox’s American Idol (6.1/19, 21 million) matched its fast-national rating from last week (the reality juggernaut always goes up in the finals). At 9 PM, Bones (3.7/10, 11.9 million) was up 16% from last week to log its highest 18-49 rating in two months. It as also the second-most-watched program of the night behind Idol. Fox easily won the night in all measures.

Word seems to have gotten out that the CW’s Thursday lineup in back in originals. In the second week back from a very long hiatus, The Vampire Diaries (2.8 million, 1.2/4) was up 4% in total viewers and held steady in the demo. Nikita, which needs a ratings boost to keep its renewal chances alive, got one. It jumped 22% in viewers from last week (2.2 million) and 17% in 18-34 (0.7/2). CBS aired all repeats. ABC’s only original was Wipeout (1.9/6, flat with last week). Below: Will Ferrell and Steve Carell meet on The Office

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.