After premiering to declines compared to last year's premiere on Wednesday night, "American Idol" held steady on its first Thursday episode of the new season, according to preliminary numbers.
Thursday night's "Idol," which filled Fox's primetime slate, drew a 5.6 rating/15 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — by far, the night's best performance in the demo — and had 16.2 million total viewers, making it the most-watched program of the night.
Wednesday night's premiere of "American Idol" — the first night with new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — drew a 6.0/16 in the demo, a 19 percent drop compared to last season's premiere, and 17.9 million total viewers, four million less than last season's premiere.
Those are still impressive numbers — and, compared to NBC's rival singing competition "The Voice," "Idol" is holding up favorably, despite the declines. Compared to the first week of "The Voice" last season, the maiden week of the new "Idol" season is up by 41 percent in the demo and 43 percent in total viewers.
ABC took a distant second place in ratings and third in total viewers with a 2.2/6 and 7.2 million. The rookie drama "Last Resort," which wasn't picked up for a second season, dropped 17 percent at 8 to tie a series low of 1.0/3 and drew 5 million total viewers, while "Grey's Anatomy" the following hour dipped 9 percent to a season low of 2.9/7 and took 8.7 million total viewers "Scandal at 10 posted a 2.6/7 and had 7.9 million total viewers.
CBS, which aired repeats throughout the night, drew third place in ratings and second in total viewers with a 1.9/5 and 9 million.
Univision came in fourth in ratings with a 1.6/4 and tied NBC for fourth in total viewers with a 3.9 million.
NBC took fifth place in ratings with a 1.5/4. "30 Rock," which is drawing to the end of its run, dropped 13 percent at 8 for a 1.3/4 and took 3.5 million total viewers, while "Parks and Recreation" at 8:30 premiered in its new time period with a 1.9/5 — up 21 percent from its last original six weeks ago — and drew 3.9 million total viewers. "The Office" at 9 inched down for a 2.1/5 and took 4.2 million total viewers, while the new comedy "1600 Penn" at 9:30 dropped off 25 percent from its time-period premiere last week with a 1.2/3 and had 3 million total viewers. "Rock Center With Brian Williams" at 10 climbed 9 percent for a 1.2/3 and took 4.4 million total viewers.
At the CW, "The Vampire Diaries" at 8 drew a 1.4/4 and drew 2.9 million total viewers. A repeat of the new "Sex and the City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries" aired the following hour.