american idol ratings march 21 2013 TV ratings: 'American Idol' bests the NCAA men's basketball tournament for a winFast National ratings for Thursday, March 21, 2013

The first day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was down from CBS’ typical Thursday night lineup, but it did earn the best numbers for the first Thursday of the tournament in 22 years.

Meanwhile, “American Idol,” while still beating March Madness, continued its slide. Last Thursday the singing competition hit a series low with just a 3.0 among adults 18-49 — this Thursday it fell a little more, to a 2.8

FOX averaged 8.8 million viewers and a 5.5 rating/9 share in households to lead the night. ABC was second at 7.6 million, 5.2/8, followed by CBS (4.7 million, 3.0/5), NBC (3.1 million, 2.1/3) and the CW (2.2 million, 1.4/2).

Adults 18-49 was a tie between FOX and ABC at 2.4, followed by CBS (1.6), NBC (1.0) and the CW (0.9).

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX: “American Idol” (11.7 million, 7.3/12)
CBS: NCAA men’s basketball (6.1 million viewers, 3.8/6 households)
ABC: “Wife Swap” premiere (5 million, 3.3/5)
NBC: “Community” (3.0 million, 2.0/3)/”1600 Penn” (2.5 million, 1.7/3)
The CW: “The Vampire Diaries” (2.6 million, 1.6/3)

18-49 leader: “American Idol” (2.8)

9 p.m.

ABC: “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.1 million, 6.3/10)
FOX: “Glee” (5.9 million, 3.6/6)
CBS: NCAA men’s basketball (4.7 million, 3.0/5)
NBC: “The Office” rerun (2.3 million, 1.6/2)/”1600 Penn” (2.3 million, 1.6/2)
The CW: “Beauty and the Beast” (1.8 million, 1.2/2)

18-49 leader: “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.9)

10 p.m.

ABC: “Scandal” (8.6 million, 5.9/10)
NBC: “Law & Order: SVU” rerun (4.2 million, 3.0/5)
CBS: NCAA men’s basketball (3.3 million, 2.1/4)

18-49 leader: “Scandal” (2.7)

information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are
preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."