Ratings: Bones Hits Almost Four-Year High

The key to strong Bones? A tall, cold glass of American Idol.

With Week 2 of Idol (22.3 million viewers) retaining almost all of its debut week audience — meaning, a bigger chunk that last year — Bones scored its best demo rating (3.9) since February 14, 2007.

With its largest total audience in almost a year (12.15 million viewers) and the likes of Grey’s and CSI in repeat mode, Bones easily dominated the 9 o’clock hour.

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Elsewhere on Thursday night:

* Leading out of a Big Bang repeat, $#*! My Dad Says hit a series low 2.3 rating and dropped 14 percent in total audience.

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* The CW’s Vampire Diaries (3.46 mil) and Nikita (2.65 mil) both returned to double-digit audience gains, as well as 23 percent/38 percent increases in the demos. (Those tallies could change, though, once preemptions in Chicago and Baltimore are factored in. Nonetheless, both shows are being “encored” Friday night, pushing the Smallville/Supernatural returns to February 4.)

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* Most of NBC’s three-hour comedy block held steady week-to-week, with only Perfect Couples showing any significant drop-off (slipping 15 percent). Outsourced, in fact, saw a small gain!

What earned your live viewing this Thursday night?