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‘American Idol’ Beats Everything — Except Itself — in the Ratings

Fox’s singing competition can’t top its own past numbers

"American Idol" continues to beat its competition — but not itself.

Thursday night's episode pulled 21.7 million total viewers for a 7.2 rating in the prized 18 to 49 demographic, down from 21.8 million total viewers and a 7.5 rating in the demo last Thursday.

Of course, Seacrest and the crew shouldn't worry too much. "Idol" still fared better than the other offerings on TV Thursday night. By comparison, CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" pulled in a 3.9/11 share among viewers in the 8 p.m. slot in the demo, while the network's "$#*! My Dad Says" followed up at 8:30 p.m. with a 2.7/7 in the demo.

Season 10 of "Idol" started off with lower numbers than last season's debut — as was expected given the change in judges — but has since climbed up, if a bit unsteadily.

Even so, the revampied "Idol" has generally performed lower than its preceding season. The Season 10 premiere pulled in 13 percent fewer viewers than last year's debut, with 26.1 million total viewers compared to last year's 29.7 million.