Ratings: Big Bang Theory Bests American Idol Again, and By a Wider Margin

Maybe just maybe the geeks shall inherit the Earth. The Big Bang Theory on Thursday night bested reality-TV juggernaut American Idol for a second consecutive week — and this time even more so.

Leonard, Sheldon et al, after last week managing a threadbare win over Idol in the coveted 18-to-49 demo, this time scored a 5.4 rating versus the 4.8 of Idol‘s first half hour. What’s more, in head-to-head competition Big Bang outdrew Idol in total viewers as well, 15.96 million to 15.46 mil. (The CBS hitcom also notched wins in the 18-34 and 25-54 demos.)

Read Michael Slezak’s American Idol: Houston Auditions Recap

Across its full hour, Idol averaged 17 million total viewers and a 5.4 rating, dipping just 5 percent from last Thursday’s audition round. Fox freshman The Finder, leading out of Idol with 8.5 million viewers and a 2.9 rating, was up some 30 percent week-to-week (though it shed 17 percent of its audience throughout the hour).

Elsewhere on Thursday:

* Leading out of the ever-bigger Bang, CBS’ Rob retained 11.58 million total viewers and a 3.5 rating, flat versus last week.

* NBC’s first installment of 30 Rock held steady at 3.84 mil/1.6, Parks and Recreation (3.5 mil/1.7) dropped double digits, and the 9 o’clock 30 Rock (4 mil/1.9) did a third less than the most recent Office.

* Facing Mentalist and Private Practice repeats, NBC’s The Firm (3.8 mil/1.0) saw a 10 percent uptick.