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TV ratings: Special 'American Idol' down; Olympics dip from 2010

TV ratings: Special 'American Idol' down; Olympics dip from 2010
Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson on Tuesday's special "American Idol." (Michael Becker / Fox)

A special Tuesday episode of "American Idol" was the only real competition for the Olympics, and the singing contest continued to feel some of the pressure. 

Tuesday's "Idol," which kicked off the series' first-ever so-called Rush Week, averaged 9.65 million viewers overall, down 3% from last Thursday's episode, according to early numbers from Nielsen. Among advertiser-desired 18-to-49-year-olds, the show fell 7% to a rating of 2.7. 
NBC's prime-time coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics has achieved generally lower ratings than the Vancouver Games four years ago, but it is still easily beating its competitors.

Tuesday's coverage of the Games averaged 18.5 million viewers. It garnered a 4.8 in the 18-49 demographic, beating the combined scores for Fox, ABC and CBS. However, it was down 13% in total viewership from the comparable night of the 2010 Olympics, while the 18-49 number fell 11%. 

ABC's only original prime-time offering was the already low-rated "Killer Women," which drew 3.2 million viewers and lost a tenth of a point in the key demo from a week ago, for a 0.6.

CBS and the CW showed only reruns. 

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Twitter: @rfaughnder

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