By James Hibberd
Updated February 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
American Idol Ratings
Credit: Fox

Just when you thought American Idol was going to slip to No. 2 on Thursdays, the veteran reality hit rose last night to win the night by a safe margin for the first time in weeks.

Fox’s American Idol (17.9 million viewers, 5.7 adults 18-49 rating) was up 4 percent for the second night of Hollywood Week, fending off CBS Big Bang Theory (16.1 million, 5.5). Fox’s new drama The Finder (6.5 million, 2.3), however, sank 4 percent despite the stronger lead-in this week.

CBS also had Rob (11 million, 3.4), followed by a perfectly demo-steady Person of Interest (15.1 million, 3.3) and The Mentalist (14.4 million, 2.9). POI matched its season high — the sci-fi crime thriller has managed to grow into a very solid performer for the network. Also, The Mentalist hit a season high among total viewers.

ABC aired Wipeout (5.2 million, 1.5), down 17 percent to a season low. Grey’s Anatomy (10.1 million, 3.9) was down 8 percent and Private Practice (6.6 million, 2.3) was steady.

NBC aired a one-hour 30 Rock (3.9 million, 1.6), which climbed 23 percent from last week’s half-hour edition. The Office (5.2 million, 2.5) was down 11 percent for its lowest-rated telecast since 2005. Up All Night (3.7 million, 1.8) was flat. The network threw on a “Why the hell not?” Voice repeat at 10 p.m. (3.5 million, 1.5) , which improved the time period compared to the last nine weeks.

Vampire Diaries (3 million, 1.2) was steady the adult demo, though rose in The CW’s young viewer target demos. Secret Circle (1.8 million, 0.8) climbed a bit.

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