Ratings: Idol, Mentalist Lead Tough Thursday

For the first time in a long time, all of the majors trotted our fresh episodes this Thursday, so let’s see how the night is really shaking out….

8/7c | Despite delivering what our own Michael Slezak opined might have been one of the worst audition rounds ever, American Idol retained almost all of its week-ago audience, drawing 21.78 million total viewers to Los Angeles and notching a 7.45 demo rating.

Placing second was CBS’ sitcombo of Big Bang Theory (13.8 mil/4.3) and $#*! My Dad Says (10.5 mil/2.8). Community dipped a bit (to 4.35 mil/a 2 rating), while lead-out Perfect Couples dropped a full 13 percent in viewers, to just over 3 mil.

The Vampire Diaries was down slightly from last week, with 3.2 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, but the show enjoyed its best Women 18-34 numbers (CW sweet spot alert!) since November 11.

American Idol Recap: Tinseltown Travesty

9/8c | Bragging rights for this hour were, as typical, split. CSI, featuring William Petersen’s unbilled cameo, was tops in total viewers (with 13.8 million) while Grey’s Anatomy (11.1 mil, down nine percent) led the demos with a 4.2. Coming off a high outing and facing all-original competition, Bones was down 15 percent, to 10.2 mil/a 3.4 rating.

Minus a Ricky Gervais drop-by, The Office (7.3 million viewers/3.7 rating) dipped 7 percent, while Parks and Rec (5.05 mil/2.5) slipped double digits. Nikita drew 2.4 million viewers, but suffered an 18 percent decline in the 18-49 demo.

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10/9c | The Mentalist, the night’s most watched scripted program, dominated the hour with 15 million viewers and a 2.9 rating. It was trailed by Private Practice (7.14 mil/2.6) and NBC’s 30 Rock/Outsourced combo (both of which were down five or so percent.)

What did you watch live this busy, busy Thursday? And what’s still saved away on your DVR?