What a depressing overnight ratings report we got this morning. ABC and NBC posted their lowest Thursday nights with original programming this season with all of their series hitting or tying season lows in 18-49. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory also hit a season low. Fox’s American Idol and Bones, CBS’ CSI and The Mentalist and CW’s The Vampire Diaries and Nikita logged minimal ratings increases that in no way offset the across-the-board drops for the rest of the Thursday series. So what happened last night? There is no definitive explanation. HUT levels were down week-to-week but within the standard diviation range (4%). Ratings experts suspect that, with weather across the country improving, we’ve started to see the so-called “spring ratings slump.” Or some viewers may have started their Presidents weekend a little earlier. Here is a network-by-network rundown:
Fox’s American Idol (7.5/22 in 18-49, 21.9 million) was up 3% from last Thursday in 18-49 and flat in total viewers. Versus the same telecast last year, which was part of new judge Ellen DeGeneres’ first week on the show, the singing competition was down 21%. It easily ranked as the top telecast of the night and drove Fox to a nightly victory. At 9 PM, Bones (3.3/9, 9.9 million) was up 3% from last week in the demo.
All ABC series hit season lows in 18-49. Winter Wipeout (1.9/6) was down 14% from last week, Grey’s Anatomy (3.7/10) down 5%, and Private Practice (2.4/7) down 8%.
More disheartening numbers for NBC’s all-comedy Thursday lineup. Community (1.8/5) was flat, while rookie Perfect Couples (1.4/4) was down 7%. Both comedies tied their season lows. The rest of NBC’s Thursday series hit new season lows. The Office (3.3/9) was down 6% from last week, Parks & Recreation (2.3/6) was down 8%, 30 Rock (2.0/6) was down 13% and Outsourced (1.5/4) was down 12%. NBC finished the night a distant fourth with a 2.0/6 in 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers.
CBS’ Big Bang Theory (3.7/11, 12.5 million) was down 5% for a season low in 18-49. $#*! My Dad Says (2.6/8, 9.8 million) was down 4%. With Justin Bieber guest starring, CSI (2.9/8, 13.3 million) was up 4%. At 10 PM, The Mentalist (3.0/9, 14.9 million) stayed higher, up 3%.
CW’s Vampire Diaries (3 million, 1.4/4 in 18-49, 1.5/5 in 18-34) was up 7% in total viewers and 18-49 and flat in 18-34. Nikita (2.1 million, 0.8/2 in 18-49 and in 18-34) was up 13% in viewers and 18-49 and even in 18-34.