(Updates with NBC saying a DVR issue affected "30 Rock" ratings.)
"Big Bang Theory" and "American Idol" were essentially tied in the ratings on Thursday night, with "Bang" scoring a win in the time slot and hitting a viewership record, while Fox took an overall victory for the evening, according to preliminary numbers.
After declines in recent weeks, Fox's "Idol" at 8 p.m. stabilized, pulling essentially flat with last week for a 5.4 rating/15 share in the adults 18-49 demographic and 17.1 million total viewers, making it the most-watched program of the night.
"The Finder" followed at 9, dropping 14 percent from last week for a 2.4/6 in the demo and 6.9 million total viewers. Overall the network drew the highest ratings for the night with a 3.9/11 in the demo, and drew the second-largest audience with an average 12 million total viewers.
At CBS, "The Big Bang Theory" took a 5.4/16 in the demo, with 16.3 million total viewers, a record viewership for the show on Thursday night. "Big Bang" pulled out a decisive victory in the common half hour it shares with "Idol," which drew a 5.0/15 from 8 to 8:30.) "Rob" at 8:30 drew a 3.4/9 in the demo with 11.2 million total viewers, while "Person of Interest" at 9 received a 3.3/9 in the demo and 14.9 million total viewers.
"The Mentalist" closed the evening at 10 with a 2.8/8 in the demo and 13.5 million total viewers. The network earned most-watched status for the night with an average 14 million total viewers.
ABC aired "Wipeout" at 8, which received a 1.8/5 in the demo and 5.9 million total viewers, while "Grey's Anatomy" the following hour took a 3.5/9 in the demo and 9.6 million total viewers. "Private Practice" at 10 pulled a 2.3/6 in the demo and 6.6 million total viewers.
On NBC, "30 Rock" at 8 dropped 19 percent to a series low of 1.3/4 and 3.2 million total viewers. But the network said an inaccurate episode description caused some DVRs not to record the show, and estimated that its live plus same day would have gone up to a 1.5 rating if not for the DVR issue.
"Parks and Recreation" at 8:30 received a 1.8/5 and 3.6 million total viewers. while "The Office" at 9 dropped 10 percent from its last original airing two weeks ago, receiving a 2.7/7 in the demo and 5.2 million total viewers.
"Up All Night" at 9:30 had a 1.8/5 in the demo and 3.7 million total viewers, while "The Firm" declined 20 percent to a 0.8/2 and 2.9 million total viewers.