How badly did American Idol beat the Winter Olympics? How badly did American Idol beat the Winter Olympics—and Lost? How badly did NBC miss Jay Leno?
The answers—and more questions about Grey's Anatomy, Bad Girls Club, etc.—in this week's TV ratings quiz:
1. Idol or the Olympics? The quick answer is Idol. The longer answer is Idol, but...
2. Why should Johnny Weir be proud? Last night's Olympic action, led by men's feather- and tassel-accented figure skating, showed muscle. Back on the same Tuesday in 2006, Idol blew away the Olympics. This time out, the gap closed, with Idol at 23.6 million and the games at an NCIS-ian 19.7 million from 8-10 p.m., per estimates.
3. Who won in the battle of Idol vs. the Olympics and Lost? Everybody. Idol took the tough 9 p.m. hour with 24.2 million, compared to the Olympics' impressive 20.9 million and Lost's solid 9.8 million.
4. Lost or Grey's Anatomy? In the latest weekly Nielsen rankings, it was Lost, not Grey's, that cracked the top 10 among young adults. (Grey's finished 12th, so no, it's not like it's finished.)
5. How's NBC doing without Jay Leno at 10 p.m.? Well, if the Olympics run for another 13 weeks or so, it'll be doing great! In lieu of that, it's too soon to tell. Leno signed off last Tuesday before a Leno-good 5.6 million. On Wednesday, a Law & Order: SVU rerun scored a Leno-better 5.9 million in the vacated hour. On Thursday, back-to-back Office reruns averaged a Leno-worse 3.1 million. And then on Friday, the Olympics came—and this discussion was tabled until March.
6. Did you know Survivor premiered last week? Probably. But for a change, free TV's No. 1 reality show (not counting Idol, natch) was Undercover Boss, which scored 15.4 million viewers without the help of the Super Bowl, no less. Survivor's Heroes vs. Villains edition still got off to a good start before 14.2 million.
7. What's up with Past Life? Not much. The new Fox show squandered its American Idol lead-in on premiere night, then sunk to 56th in the weekly rankings in its Thursday time-slot debut.
8. Which one of the following do young women adore the most: hoops, Bad Girls Club or Project Runway? Bad Girls Club, which ranked as cable's No. 1 show among 18-34 women. The NBA All-Star Game was No. 2 in that delicate demo; Project Runway, with a cable-solid 2.9 million viewers, wasn't even in the top 25. Overall, the basketball game was cable's most watched show (6.8 million), followed by the TV movie StarStruck (6 million).
Here's a look at the top 10 broadcast network shows for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen Media Research:
We think Johnny Weir would approve of this nicely bundled-up bunch. Meet Our Winter Olympians.