Two months after previewing out of American Idol on Wednesday, Fox drama Touch opened in the Thursday 9 p.m. time period (also out of Idol) with a dominant 11.69 million viewers and a 3.2 rating/9 share among adults 18-49. Comparably, retention out of a season-low performance for American Idol (Viewers: 15.01 million; A18-49: 4.0/13 at 8 p.m.) was 78 percent in total viewers and 80 percent in the demo. Keep in mind, however, that competing Grey’s Anatomy on ABC was a repeat, Person of Interest on CBS was replaced by the ongoing NCAA Basketball Tournament, and The Office on NBC was pre-empted for another episode of tired 30 Rock (which scored just 3.42 million viewers and a 1.5/ 4 among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. half-hour). At this point, NBC should be swinging the axe on 30 Rock.
Year-to-year, fading American Idol slipped by a hefty 6.29 million viewers (21.30 to 15.01 million) and 37 percent in the demo (6.4/20 to 4.0/13). After 11 seasons, it was time for the ratings dam to break.
Fox finished first for the evening in both total viewers (13.35 million) and adults 18-49 (3.6 rating/10 share). Next was basketball populated CBS at 6.75 million viewers and a 2.3/ 7 in the demo. Third in total viewers was ABC (5.61 million), followed by NBC (3.84) and The CW (2.23). No. 3 among adults 18-49 was NBC (1.4/ 4), followed by ABC (1.2/ 3) and The CW (1.0/ 3).