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Simon Cowell, American Idol
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A guest visit from upcoming NBC sitcom figurehead Chelsea Handler couldn’t pull Whitney from its ratings murk.

Handler guest-starred last night on the freshman sitcom, playing a therapist who tries to help stressed-out Whitney. The comedy matched its all-time low in the Nielsens, delivering 4 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. Handler’s new semi-autobiographical NBC series Are You There, Chelsea?, starring Laura Prepon as the fictional version of Handler, launches on Wednesday nights starting Jan. 11. (And to add another level of NBC cross-program playfulness, the Whitney episode’s title was “Up All Night.”)

In case you’ve missed it, here’s NBC’s four-minute preview of Are You There, Chelsea?, followed by more Thursday night ratings:

Fox won the night with X Factor (10.2 million, 3.1) and Bones (8.8 million, 2.8), both mostly steady with their last Thursday performances.

ABC had Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (7.2 million, 2.2) and CMA Country Christmas (9 million, 2.1).

Despite CBS airing repeats, NBC was in fourth place: Community (3.9 million, 1.7), Parks and Recreation (3.7 million, 1.8), and The Office (5.7 million, 2.9). With The Mentalist in a repeat, Prime Suspect (4.6 million, 1.3) went up 18 percent.

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Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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