The Vampire Diaries and Nikita returned strong in the ratings Thursday night despite the threatening presence of Fox's American Idol.

Vampire (3.5 million viewers, 1.6 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) was up 23 percent from its last original telecast in early December, and Nikita (2.7 million, 1.1) climbed 38 percent.

CW had some pre-emptions last night in a couple markets, so these numbers could shift a bit in the nationals, but as things stand, this is the network's most-watched Thursday since early November. If these ratings hold up, then the episodes wouldn't really need to be repeated tonight, pushing the return of Supernatural and Smallville back a week, but the extra sampling can't hurt either (Vampire Diaries recap here, and go here for that "Got Wood" teaser video). More ratings after the jump…Fox won the night, of course, with Idol (22.3 million, 7.6) once again showing considerable premiere-week retention, holding onto 97 percent of its rating from last Thursday. Bones (12.2 million, 3.9) followed.

Ricky Gervais' guest appearance on NBC's The Office (7.9 million, 4.0) (see his run-in with Michael Scott here) didn't help the show's ratings, which were down 11 percent from last week's high. Overall, NBC's comedy block slipped from last Thursday's spike, with Perfect Couples (3.5 million, 1.7) down 19 percent, Parks & Recreation (5.9 million, 3.0) down 6 percent and 30 Rock (4.9 million, 2.4) off 19 percent. Community (4.6 million, 2.2) was flat, however, and 10:30 p.m.'s Outsourced (4.1 million, 1.9) improved 6 percent from last week's low.

Over on CBS, the network ran repeats except for burning off airing an original episode of $#*! My Dad Says (8.9 million, 2.3). ABC had repeats except for Wipeout (7.6 million, 2.4).

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