Ratings: Parks and Rec Perks Up (Versus Idol!)

American Idol and its reveal of the complete Top 24 was a force to be reckoned with this Thursday night, drawing 21.6 million viewers and a 7.2 rating in the 18-49 demo. Versus a year ago, Fox’s reality juggernaut is up 19 percent in viewers and 11 percent in the demo.

Nonetheless, NBC’s scrappy sitcoms held their own. The most pleasing success story belongs to Parks and Recreation, which despite facing off against the tail end of Idol‘s big night managed to notch a 6 percent gain in viewers and 4 percent bump with the 18-49 crowd. I’d say that nearly makes up for the grilled Portobello mushrooms. What, no?

Similarly, Community kicked off the Peacock’s night with numbers on par with a week ago (3.9 million viewers/a 1.8 rating), as did Perfect Couples (2.96 mi/1.4) and The Office (6.2 mil/3.3).

Elsewhere this Thursday:

8/7c | Opposite Idol‘s first hour, Big Bang Theory (12.5 million total viewers/3.8 rating) saw a small uptick, while Wipeout (7.1 mil/2.2) registered double-digits gains. CBS’ relocated Rules Of Engagement made its Thursdays-at-9:30 debut to 9.63 million viewers, matching $#*! My Dad Says‘ most recent audience and improving on its demos by 8 percent (with a 2.8). Vampire Diaries dipped 7 percent in the demo (to 1.3).

9/8c | CSI was down a few percentage points but still bested Grey’s in total viewers, with 12.48 mil. Grey’s was down 11 percent in both viewers (to 9.1 mil) and the demo (tying The Office with a 3.3). Nikita‘s needs-work demo rating held steady at 0.8, while overall viewership dipped beneath 2 mil.

10/9c | The Mentalist led the hour in both viewers (14.7 mil) and in the demo (slipping 7 percent to a 2.8). Private Practice followed with an audience of 6.7 million and a 2.4 rating. NBC’s 30 Rock (4.51 mil/2.3) delivered double-digit gains in both measures, while Outsourced tied last week’s rating and enjoyed a 6 percent increase in viewers (with 3.4 mil).

What were your Thursday TV-viewing priorities?