Winter Olympics outdraws season-low 'Idol'
NBC's Vancouver Games coverage drew 22.9 million viewers, which was down 12% in viewers from the same night in Torino in 2006. "Idol" (17.8 million viewers, 6.4 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) delivered the reality titan's lowest-rated episode since 2004 while continuing to reign in the adult demo, beating the Games by 45%.
“I never thought we would have the good fortune to beat the incredibly well-produced and enduring phenomenon of 'American Idol' even once," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. "But twice? At best, I deeply believed we might come a little closer than we did four years ago, because the show is such a powerhouse. We are happy to rent 'Idol's' space for a few nights. All the thanks goes to the athletes of the world who give us these great stories to tell. Their stories are the stars of our show -- and led to these two ‘miracles’ -- just as the young entertainers are the stars of 'Idol.'"
Also Thursday: CBS' "Survivor" (11.5 million, 3.7) lived up to its name, down only 5% this week despite facing "Idol" and the Olympics.
Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" (7.7 million, 3.7), taking over for "Past Life," was close behind at 9 p.m., boosted by "Idol" and delivering its second-best performance ever.
The series finale of ABC's "Deep End" (3.9 million, 1.1) was flat. Everybody else stayed out of the way.