After the dramatic American Idol results show last week featuring the elimination of 11 semifinalists, which shot up 15% from the week before and 30% from last year, the show came back to Earth last night with a respectable showing as broadcasters faced big NBA games on TNT. The hourlong first Top 13 elimination round drew 21.7 million viewers and a 6.5/19 in 18-49. That was down 21% in the demo from last week’s highly rated two-hour episode but down only 4% in the demo and up 6% in total viewers vs. the corresponding telecast last season. At 9 PM, Bones (3.4/10) was up 3% from its last original Feb. 17. Fox dominated the night in viewers and 18-49.
CBS, the only other network to air originals, showed gains. The Big Bang Theory (3.8/11) was flat with its last original two weeks ago, but Rules of Engagement (2.8/8) perked up with a 17% ratings increase vs. last week when it followed a repeat Big Bang. CSI (3.1/9) was up 15% from Feb. 24, The Mentalist (3.0/9) was up 7%. (CBS had local preemptions for college basketball in smaller markers on the East Coast that are not expected to significantly impact ratings when the finals are announced.)