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TV ratings: 'American Idol' slides against lower Olympics

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Fox's "American Idol" fell again in the ratings as NBC aired prime-time coverage of the Winter Olympics, featuring the women's figure skating final and freestyle skiing. 

"American Idol's" telecast, revealing the cuts from its first-ever rush week, drew 9.2 million viewers, down about 10% from the average viewership from the Feb. 13 episode, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

Among key 18- to 49-year-old viewers, "Idol" fell 20% week to week to a rating of 2.4 -- a series low for a regularly scheduled telecast. The results show was also down 8% from Wednesday's all-boys competition round. 

The new Greg Kinnear legal series "Rake" also posted a weekly decline in the key demo, falling 9% to a 1.0, though its total viewership was flat at 4 million. 

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As usual, the Sochi Games won the night for NBC, though ratings continued to be lower than four years ago. An average of 19.9 million people watched the broadcaster's prime-time sports coverage, 12% fewer than those who tuned into the comparable night of the Vancouver Games. Thursday night's Olympics garnered a 4.9 rating in 18-49, down 17% from 2010. 

ABC's two-hour season finale of "The Taste" was flat in 18-49 compared with last week. The culinary competition's closer scored a 0.9, which is a low for the series, though it increased 7% in total viewers to 3.2 million. 

CBS showed only reruns. 

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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

Twitter: @rfaughnder

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