Fox’s American Idol (5.6/15) was back Thursday for the second night of its Season 12 premiere. Coming off the series’ lowest-rated in-season premiere on Wednesday, last night’s two-hour auditions show was even with last season’s preliminary second-night ratings. Compared night-to-night, Thursday was down four tenths from Wednesday’s 6.0 debut. Not that that’s unusual for Idol, which has seen a drop-off every season from its first to second premiere night. Last season’s 7.4/19 first night (January 18) fell to a 5.7/18 on its second night in final numbers. Last night’s Idol was watched by 16.18 million, compared with the 18.02 who tuned in last year.
The first week of Idol’s 12th season saw the Fox show out rating NBC’s The Voice third season debut in September by 41% among Adults 18-49. It also saw the Fox show beating the NBC singing competition series by 43% in total viewers with 17. 1 million watching Idol’s shows compared to The Voice’s 12 million across the two first two premiere nights. Partially up against The Voice, the season two premiere of The X-Factor averaged 8.47 million viewers on its first night with a 3.4/10 rating. The X-Factor’s second night premiere got a 3.1/10 with 8.28 million viewers, almost half of the audience Idol pulled last night
With Idol back in action this week the other networks all saw some slippage Thursday. Last Resort (1.0/3) was down 17% from last week to be tied for a series low. Grey’s Anatomy (2.9/7) slipped 9% from last week’s winter break return. After last week’s season high, Scandal (2.6/7) dipped a slight 7% from its January 10 show.
Two weeks before its series finale, 30 Rock (1.3.4) finished down 13% from last week’s season high. Making its time period premiere at 8:30 PM, Parks And Recreation (1.9/5) was up four tenths from the 1.5/4 of its last original 9:30 PM airing six weeks ago. Thursday was a season high for the comedy. The Office (2.1/5) was down a slight 5% from its January 10 winter break return. In its second week in its regular time slot, 1600 Penn (1.2/3) The White House-based comedy fell 25%. Featuring an interview with director Paul Haggis on his decision to leave the Church of Scientology, last night’s Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.2/3) was up 9% from last week. CBS had a full night of repeats Thursday with The Big Bang Theory (3.3/10), Two And A Half Men (2.4/6), Person Of Interest (1.6/4) and Elementary (1.4/4). The CW had a new episode of The Vampire Diaries (1.4/4) up from the 1.3 it got for its last original.