Nellie Andreeva

Breanna Steer on American IdolFox‘s American Idol last night kicked off its live rounds as the veteran singing competition switched to its temporary three-nights-a-week airing pattern. The two-hour performance show (3.4/9 in adults 18-49, 11.5 million viewers) was down 13% from last Wednesday’s episode. Vs. the same Tuesday show last year, Idol was down 33% in 18-49 and 29% in total viewers. Idol still edged CBSNCIS (3.3/10, 20.4 million) to rank as the No.1 program of the night in 18-49 but was topped in the 8 PM hour by NCIS for the first time in the demo and was dwarfed by the veteran CBS drama in total viewers. Still, two hours of Idol easily won the night for Fox in 18-49, while CBS was No.1 in viewers.

Both NCIS series, mothership and spinoff NCIS: LA (2.8/7, 16 million) were down a tenth from last week. In its second and final airing on Tuesday before moving to its regular Friday berth, newbie Golden Boy (1.6/5, 9.3 million) was down 11% from its soft debut last week.

Proving how fickle and talent-dependent celebrity-driven reality shows are, ABC‘s Celebrity Wife Swap (1.5/4) dropped 38% from its season premiere last week which featured celebrity fixtures Kendra Wilkinson trading places with mom of eight Kate Gosselin. That pushed The Taste (1.2/3) down 14% to its lowest-rated telecast to date. Body Of Proof (1.2/4) is nothing but consistent, logging the same series-low rating for each of its three episodes so far this season.

Not much to say about NBC where two of three originals last night came in under 1 rating in 18-49. The New Normal (0.9/2) was down 10% from last week, while Smash (0.7/2) was the lowest-rated telecast on the Big 4, down 22% from last week to a new series low. It barely edged the CW’s Hart Of Dixie (0.6/2), which was even with last Tuesday. A new Go On posted a 1.1/3, tying its Off Their Rockers repeat lead-in.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.