The first night of the May sweep had the NFL draft on ESPN and NFL Network and an almost full schedule of originals on the broadcast networks. Like previous years when pitted against the draft, which got a 4.6/8 on ESPN in metered markets, that led to a lot of lows for shows across the networks. Having said that, Thursday was particularly rough for American Idol (2.7/9), which hit an all-time low for any regularly scheduled Idol in the Fox series’ 12 seasons. In a much-teased surprise, no one went home on the one-hour results show but there were a lot fewer people watching: Idol was down 7% in adults 18-49 and viewership from last week’s fast nationals, and down 10% from April 18’s final numbers. The previous all-time low was a 2.8 rating March 28. Also on Fox last night, Glee (1.8/5) took a downward turn as well, falling 14% from its April 18 episode.
Back with a primetime full of originals for the first time in three weeks, CBS saw some of its biggest shows hit new lows. The Big Bang Theory (4.2/14) was down 19% from its last new show April 4, though it was the night’s most-watched show with 14.38 million viewers. Two And A Half Men (2.8/8) took a far steeper dive, off 28% from its last original three weeks ago to hit a series low. Person Of Interest (2.4/7) fell 11% from its April 4 episode to tie a series low, while freshman Elementary (2.0/6) dipped 5% to also hit a season low. Still, CBS won the night in total viewers and the demo. (more…)