Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Big Bang’ Tops ‘Idol’ For First Time, ‘Person Of Interest’ Hits High

Fourth-ranked NBC slipped four more notches at 10 PM last night in the Thursday slot it once dominated with powerhouse drama ER, then the highest-rated show on television. The latest NBC series to take over ER‘s Thursday 10 PM slot, new legal drama The Firm, drew a puny 0.9/2 in the key adults 18-49 demographic, ranking eighth is the hour behind the Big 3 broadcast networks as well as four basic cable networks including slot leader MTV with its juggernaut Jersey Shore. Despite the continuous ratings decline for The Firm, which dropped another tenth in its third week to reach levels well below the series it replaced, Prime Suspect, a rep for NBC said that there are no plans to pull the legal thriller from the schedule. (The Firm also is tracking well below the ill-fated Jay Leno Show, which had a brief run in the 10 PM hour Monday-Friday during the 2009-10 season.) The Firm, a sequel to John Grisham’s novel and the 1993 movie, was an acquisition and costs NBC far less than a traditionally produced drama series would. If the series continues to slide in the ratings as it has done in every airing to date, it will be interesting to see whether NBC would be able to hold onto the Top 10 in the hour next week. Here are the Top 8 programs at 10 PM last night among 18-49:

1. MTV
Jersey Shore, 3.5/9 in adults 18-49
2. CBS
The Mentalist, 3.0/8
3. ABC
Private Practice 2.1/5
4. TNT
NBA Basketball 1.9/5
5. TBS
The Big Bang Theory rerun 1.5/4
6. Univision
Rosa De Guadalupe 1.1/3
7. A&E
Beyond Scared Straight 1.0/3
8. NBC
The Firm 0.9/2

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