Looks like American Idol and a dash of Gordon Ramsay still have ratings firepower. Even with the traditionally downward turn brought on by Daylight Savings, the combo of Idol’s live performances and the Season 11 premiere of Hell’s Kitchen kept Fox in the top spot among the networks in the key adults 18-49 demographic for the week of March 11. Fox garnered a 1.9/6 in the demo for the 25th week of the 2012-2013 season, and with March 13’s Idol coming in at #2, Fox had eight shows in last week’s Top 20. However, that rating was down from the 2.3/7 the network scored the week before and it barely squeezed out a win for the network. CBS and ABC were close behind, tied for second with a 1.7/5 two-tenths of a ratings point behind. (The tie was not the first such result this season — CBS and NBC tied for first in Week 10 with a 2.6 rating.)
Related: NBC Drops To Third In Season Network Ratings; Fox Moves Up & Wins Week
Repeat-heavy last week, CBS was down from the 1.9/5 it drew during the week of March 3. But in a testament to the solid foundations of its overall schedule, the network still had seven of the Top 20 shows in the demo. CBS still took the week in total viewers with an average of 8.62 million. In fact, Tuesday encores of NCIS (13.177 million) and NCIS: LA (11.950 million) brought in more total viewers than anything on rival networks except the Wednesday broadcast of Idol (13.44 million). As usual, CBS scored the week’s most-watched show when 15.901 million tuned in for Thursday’s The Big Bang Theory. The geek sitcom was also the #1 show of the week in the demo. After a few unsteady weeks, Survivor: Caramoan hit a season high last week, and the seventh-most-watched show of the period, Person Of Interest, took the week’s top drama spot in viewers and 18-49s (2.9/8).
With a strong Season 17 finale from The Bachelor and despite lows from Grey’s Anatomy and freshman reality series The Taste, ABC rose last week from the 1.5/4 it garnered the week before. With new lows for The Biggest Loser and Community, struggling NBC remained unmoved compared week-over-week a 1.1/3 last week. The CW was also even with the previous week with its 0.4/1.
Since the current season began September 24, CBS holds the top spot overall with 3.0/9 in adults 18-49 and 12.305 million viewers. Fox is second among the demo with a 2.6/7 but fourth in viewers with 7.135 million on average. With the fall surge from football and The Voice still in its tank, NBC is third in the demo with 2.5/7 and in overall viewership with 7.245 million. ABC is fourth in 18-49 with 2.3/6 and second in total viewers with 7.828 million watching on average. The CW is fifth with a 0.7/2 and 1.843 million viewers on average. Year-over-year, the networks’ total 6.8 rating is down 21% (from 8.6). The CW took the hardest ratings tumble of all from last year, falling 33%. NBC was right behind, dropping 31% from the 1.6 it got last year during the comparable week when The Voice was on. Of course, right now they are champing at the bit over at 30 Rock for the return of The Voice and Revolution on March 25 to turn around NBC’s primetime fortunes.
The TV Weekly Warfare take-away: CBS a close second after a week of repeats and ABC rises while Fox stays #1 thanks to two nights of American Idol.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.