Feb. 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM ET
Bazinga, "American Idol"!
It looks like once again, CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory" topped the (soon-to-be former?) ratings juggernaut during the 8-8:30 p.m. timeslot on Thursday night. Early reports have the geeky bunch led by Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper drawing 16.4 million sets of eyeballs in the 18-49 demographic, while the singing competition's St. Louis auditions attracted 15.8 million folks.
According to CBS, the sitcom had its largest audience ever Thursday based on Nielsen's preliminary numbers.
But it wasn't all bad news for "Idol," which has seen its ratings drop this season. The show still won the 8 p.m. hour with an early total of 17.1 million viewers. The competition was also still in its audition phase this week, and those episodes tend to to do as well as when the contest really gets underway. "Idol" begins its Hollywood round Wednesday.
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