Of course American Idol lifted Fox to the overall win Thursday for adults 18-49, but The Office & The Marriage Ref topped the adults 18-49 ratings from 9-11pm.

American Idol’s 6.5 adults 18-49 rating was enough to swamp the rest of the competition on Thursday night. It was down 8% from the comparable Thursday night last season (2/26/09). Overall, American Idol is down just 5% in adults 18-49 so far this season. Kitchen Nightmares slipped just a bit (3%) from last week to a 3.3 rating.

A special one hour The Office put an adults 18-49 beatdown on the competition at 9pm, up 27% over 2/11 to a 4.7 rating. It was the first time that The Office beat an original episode of Grey’s Anatomy in adults 18-49.

That likely gave The Marriage Ref a nice boost, as its regular timeslot premiere scored a 3.4 rating, winning the 10pm hour. Earlier in the night, Community (2.3 rating) and Parks & Recreation (2.3 rating, matching a season high) were both flat vs. their last originals on 2/11. Besides Winter Olympics weeks, it was NBC’s top 18-49 rated Thursday of the season.

At 9pm, Grey’s Anatomy was up 8% (vs. 2/18) to a 4.0 rating, likely as some Olympics viewers returned, but Private Practice may have been hurt more by Marriage Ref, it fell 4% to a 2.7 rating, it’s lowest original episode rating on a Thursday.

Free of competition from the Olympics, Survivor recovered a bit (+3%) to a 3.8 rating. CSI got a big bounce, up 16% (vs. 2/4) to a 3.7 rating. The Mentalist also seemed hurt by Marriage Ref, falling 14% (vs. 2/11) to a 3.2 rating.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 5.9 18 17.899
CBS Survivor: Heroes v. Villains 3.7 11 12.401
NBC Community 2.3 7 5.056
ABC Grey’s Anatomy (repeat) 1.1 3 4.794
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.8 2 1.787
8:30 FOX American Idol 7.1 20 20.714
CBS Survivor: Heroes v. Villains 4.0 11 12.983
NBC Parks & Recreation 2.3 6 4.643
ABC Grey’s Anatomy (repeat) 1.3 4 5.298
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.7 2 1.603
9:00 NBC The Office 4.5 12 8.708
ABC Grey’s Anatomy 3.9 10 11.784
CBS CSI 3.7 10 15.522
FOX Kitchen Nightmares 3.5 9 8.990
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.6 2 1.565
9:30 NBC The Office 4.9 13 9.349
ABC Grey’s Anatomy 4.1 11 11.792
CBS CSI 3.7 10 15.610
FOX Kitchen Nightmares 3.1 8 7.192
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.6 1 1.538
10:00 NBC The Marriage Ref 3.7 10 8.059
CBS The Mentalist 3.3 9 15.233
ABC Private Practice 2.9 8 8.109
10:30 NBC The Marriage Ref 3.2 9 7.355
CBS The Mentalist 3.1 9 14.323
ABC Private Practice 2.5 7 7.194

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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