Singing and hoops resonated with viewers on Thursday night, with 'Idol' once again topping the ratings but coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship yielding the highest numbers in two decades.
According to early results, Fox landed a one-two punch from 8 to 10 p.m., with the 'Idol' results show at 8 p.m. pulling a 5.6 rating/18 share in the 18-49 demographic and a total of 19 million viewers, and "Bones" grabbing the number two slot at 9 p.m., with a 3.4/10 in the demo and 11.9 total viewers.
The NCAA championship, meanwhile, which was broadcast across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, drew an overnight household rating/share of 5.7/13. That number not only represents a 24% leap from the 4.6/11 that CBS Sports garnered from its 2010 coverage of the tournament, but it marks the highest rating for the first Thursday of the tournament since 1991, the first year that the tournament grew to four telecast outlets for the entire day. For CBS, the NCAA Championship drew a 1.7/6 share in the demo from 8 to 9:30, a 1.6/5 share in the demo from 9:30 to 10, and a 1.5/4 share among adults 18-49 in the 10 p.m. slot.
ABC's "Wipeout" at 8 p.m. pulled in a 2.0/7 in the 18-49 demo, while "Private Practice" at 9 p.m. garnered a 1.9/6 share in the demo. The 10 p.m. slot, occupied by "Off the Map," managed to find a 1.1/3 in the demo.
NBC presented a comedy block on Thursday night, with "Community" at 8 p.m. drawing a 1.7/6 among adults 8-49, "Perfect Couples" at 8:30 bringing in a 1.2/4 in the demo, a 9 p.m. repeat of "The Office" grabbing a 1.5/5, and "Parks and Recreation" filling the 9:30 slot with a 1.8/5 in the demo. "30 Rock," at 10 p.m., garnered a 1.7/5 in the demo, and "Outsourced" rounding out the primetime schedule at 10:30 with a 1.4/4 share among adults 18-49.