big bang ratings 0126 TV ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' tops 'Idol' head to head, but FOX wins ThursdayFast National ratings for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012

“The Big Bang Theory” scored a second straight ratings win against “American Idol” on Thursday, leading the one-time juggernaut by better than half a point among adults 18-49 and by about 500,000 viewers in the half-hour they competed head-to-head*.

(*The half-hour breakdown, not reflected in the numbers below, is as follows: From 8 to 8:30 p.m., “Big Bang” drew 16 million viewers and a 5.4 in adults 18-49 to 15.5 million and 4.8 for “Idol.”)

Thanks to a surge in its second half, though, “Idol” still ended up as the night’s most-watched show and tied “Big Bang” in the demo. The lead-in (and reruns on ABC and CBS) also helped “The Finder” score its best ratings so far.

FOX averaged 12.75 million viewers and a 7.6 rating/12 share among households in primetime, beating out the 11.3 million and 7.0/11 for CBS. There was a big drop from there to third-place ABC (3.9 million, 2.5/4), which aired a night of reruns. NBC (3.65 million 2.4/4) was down as “The Office” took the night off, while The CW scored 1.3 million viewers and a 0.9/1.

FOX’s 4.1 rating among adults 18-49 also led the night. CBS finished second in the demographic with a 2.8. NBC took third with a 1.4, followed by ABC, 1.2, and The CW, 0.5.

]]>8 p.m. FOX: “American Idol” (17 million viewers, 9.9/16 households)
CBS: “The Big Bang Theory” (16 million, 9.6/15)/”Rob” (11.6 million, 6.8/10)
ABC: “Wipeout” rerun (4.9 million, 2.8/4)
NBC: “30 Rock” (3.8 million, 2.6/4)/”Parks and Recreation” (3.5 million, 2.2/3)
The CW: Movie – “The Covenant” (1.35 million, 0.9/1) 18-49 leader: “The Big Bang Theory” and “American Idol” tied at 5.4 9 p.m. CBS: “Person of Interest” rerun (10.5 million, 6.6/10)
FOX: “The Finder” (8.5 million, 5.2/8)
ABC: “Grey’s Anatomy” rerun (4 million, 2.7/4)
NBC: “30 Rock” (4 million, 2.5/4)/”Up All Night” rerun (3 million, 2.0/3)
The CW: “The Covenant” (1.3 million, 0.8/1) 18-49 leader: “The Finder” (2.9) 10 p.m. CBS: “The Mentalist” rerun (9.6 million, 6.2/10)
NBC: “The Firm” (3,8 million, 2.4/4)
ABC: “Private Practice” rerun (2.8 million, 2.1/3) 18-49 leader: “The Mentalist” (1.9)

Ratings 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:Rick Porter