The Motown of Wednesday was sweet on American Idol (2.7/9) but it all came down to seeing who made the cut last night. On an evening when TV viewership was down 7% from 8 PM to 10 PM, Idol’s 450th show saw a performance from judge Keith Urban and an elimination bringing the finalists down to seven on Thursday’s one-hour live Idol results show. It also saw the show hitting a new all-time regular telecast low for any night of American Idol. Slipping below last week’s previous all-time low, the show dipped 7% from last week’s final numbers of 2.9/9 among Adults 18-49 and slipped 4% from March 21’s fast nationals of 2.8/9. As Idol often sees an adjustment upward, that could change in the final numbers. Idol actually has done worse but that was with two specials in 2004 on New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving that garnered a 2.6 and a 2.2 respectively. Fox won the night in total viewers but ABC and CBS were tied for the top spot among Adults 18-49. This is the first time that ABC has beaten Fox on a Thursday since Idol started airing on the night three years ago.
It was all college ball on CBS last night. For the second Thursday in a row, the 2013 NCAA College Basketball Championships (2.3/7) took over primetime with Miami taking on Marquette and Indiana battling Syracuse. In fast nationals, the tournament is even with last year’s comparable night on March 22, 2012. Due to the nature of live sports and the primetime overrun of the games, the numbers are approximate at best. The tournament runs until April 8.
The night saw two finales from Raising Hope and freshman 1600 Penn (0.7/2). Shifting from its regular Tuesday slot to Thursday and coming off an Idol lead-in, the special two half hour Season 3 end of the Fox family comedy, which was recently renewed for a fourth cycle, slipped 7% from its last original on February 26 in its 9 PM (1.4/4) slot but actually saw a 31% rise in viewership to 4.6 million. In the 9:30 PM (1.2/3) slot Raising Hope was down 14% from its last original but saw viewership up 13% from 3.1 million to 3.5 million. Things were not so pretty over at 1600 Penn (0.7/2) at 9:30 PM on NBC. The White House comedy may have Bill Pullman as the Commander-in-Chief but he probably remembers his previous stint in the Oval Office in 1996’s Independence Day much more fondly – even if aliens did blow up the Executive Mansion. The fact is the struggling 1600 Penn was down 22% from last week is tied for a series low.
As they did last week, NBC had another 1600 Penn (0.7/2) on at 8:30 PM in Parks and Recreations regular slot. That is a series low also for the freshman comedy. That was bookended by encores of Community (0.7/3) at 8 PM and The Office (0.7/2) at 9 PM. NBC closed out its night with a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (1.0/3). The CW topped NBC last night among Adults 18-49. The Vampire Diaries (1.2/4) began the night for the CW. The series was down a tenth from last week. Beauty & The Beast (0.6/2) was even with its March 21 show.
The second week of the latest season of Wife Swap (1.4/5) saw the reality show fall 18% from its premiere. Though it dipped 7% from its March 21 show, Grey’s Anatomy (2.8/8) still beat Idol for the second week in a row among the key demo. Scandal (2.6/7) dipped 4% from last week’s show, ending the night for ABC.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.