'American Idol' Widens Gap Vs. 'The Big Bang Theory'

'American Idol' Widens Gap Vs. 'The Big Bang Theory' "The Big Bang Theory" had been keeping the sparring rounds close, but "American Idol" finally mounted an offensive gained some ground against its biggest Thursday night competition.

The Hollywood Week Thursday edition of "Idol" was watched last night by 17.9 million viewers with a 5.9 rating among the 18-49 adult demographic, enough to stop a ratings slide and build its viewership 4 percent, reports Entertainment Weekly. That bought the FOX talent search a week in which CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" stayed close, but at least wasn't nipping quite so hard at "Idol" heels. The Emmy-winning sitcom was watched by 16.1 million viewers, with a 5.5 rating.

In a sense, FOX broke even last night. The "Bones" spin-off "The Finder" delivered 6.5 million viewers and a 2.3 rating, a 4-percent fall matching the "Idol" gain. Elsewhere on CBS, "Rob!" had another solid week, watched by 11 million viewers for a 3.4 rating. "Person of Interest" had 15.1 million viewers and a 3.3, while "The Mentalist" a similar 14.4 million and a 2.9 number. Both sets of statistics marked season highs for the CBS dramas.

ABC's "Wipeout" plummeted 17 percent to a season-low 5.2 million watchers and a 1.5 rating. "Grey's Anatomy" fell 8 percent and hit 10.1 million viewers and a 3.9, while "Private Practice" held steady with 6.6 million tuning in for a 2.3 rating.

NBC's special one-hour "30 Rock" drew 3.9 million sets of eyes for a 1.6, topping last week's standard half-hour episode by an impressive 23 percent. "The Office" only pulled 5.2 million viewers and a 2.5 rating, an unfortunate milestone 11-percent fall to its lowest-rated week since 2005. "Up All Night" and its 3.7-million viewer, 1.8-rating night held the course, while a 10 PM repeat of "The Voice" grabbed 3.5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, marking a nine-week high for the hour.

Finally, The CW's "Vampire Diaries" garnered 3 million viewers for a 1.2 rating, while "Secret Circle" made progress with 1.8 million viewers and a 0.8 rating.

To catch up on all you might've missed on "Idol," check out our recaps of the best auditions leading up to the Hollywood Week That Was right here.

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