You know you’re in trouble in the ratings when you get beaten out by a repeat – ok, a repeat of a hugely popular show, but a repeat nonetheless; let’s not forget either, you’re supposed to be a hugely popular show too, so what’s going wrong? That’s what American Idol producers must be asking themselves after it was revealed that they’d been trumped last night (April 18, 2013) by a re-show of a Big Bang Theory episode on CBS.

The Fox reality singing contest has been struggling for viewers since it returned for yet another season earlier in the Spring, however it had been improving again in recent weeks, only to have the wind knocked out of it last night when it was revealed that Big Bang Theory had scored bigger adult demographic ratings last night. Let’s not get too down in the mouth about Idol, it still took 11.9 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults aged 18-49, but it shouldn’t be being eclipsed by a repeat. That’s what happened, with an 8pm encore of BBT scoring 11.2 million viewers but a 3.0 rating, while a 9pm edition took 10.8 million viewers but a 3.2 rating.

Both of these, it should be noted, are doing much better than NBC’s new drama Hannibal, which suffered a calamitous 18% drop in ratings last night, falling to 3.5 million viewers and a 1.4 rating. Ouch.

Nicki Minaj
It's not been going well for Nicki Minaj and the American Idol team this year