With CBS Airing NCAA, NBC Sitcoms Gain


With CBS in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament mode -- airing the first big night of the event on Thursday -- some networks expected the worst. But it turned out better than expected.

Fox's "American Idol" got to a Nielsen preliminary 4.5 rating/14 share. A repeat of "Touch" at 9 p.m. gave the show a still-healthy 2.2/6.

Without CBS' "Big Bang Theory," both ABC and NBC looked to improve around this time. But ABC's season premiere of "Missing" at 8 p.m. could only manage a 2.0 rating/6 share -- a tenth of a rating point lower than "Charlie's Angels" opened up in the fall with a 2.1 rating.



Perhaps the lack of a comedy with "Bang" allowed NBC some cheer. The return of "Community" earned a Nielsen preliminary 2.2 rating/5 share among key 18-49 viewers, way up over its current 1.6 rating season average.

NBC's "30 Rock" had its best results since November -- a 2.0/6, up 33% over its season average. NBC's 10 p.m. new midseason drama "Awake" kept the same numbers as a week ago during its premiere, with a 1.6/4.

Later on in the night, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" at 9 p.m. earned a 3.0/8, down a bit from a week ago. "Private Practice" pulled in a 2.2/6, up from its previous performance.

CW says its still-shining drama "The Vampire Diaries" slightly improved in the key demographics it sells to advertisers: adults 18-34 and women 18-34. It was up 8% in adults 18-34 to a 1.4/5 and improved 6% to a decent 1.9/6 among women 18-34.

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