By James Hibberd
Updated April 19, 2013 at 03:55 PM EDT

Oh, American Idol!

Big Bang Theory beat you in the ratings with both hands tied around its metaphorical back.

Thursday night’s original Idol on Fox had 11.9 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49.

Yet a couple Big Bang Theory repeats on CBS delivered bigger adult demo ratings. A Big Bang encore at 8 p.m. had 11.2 million viewers and a 3.0 rating, while a 9 p.m. edition had 10.8 million viewers and a 3.2 rating.

Idol (our recap here) has actually been on a ratings upswing the past couple weeks, and Fox points out last night’s number could rise a tenth or two in the afternoon nationals. Even so, experts say Idol won’t top the 9 p.m. Big Bang in the demo. UPDATE: In the afternoon nationals, the Big Bang Theory repeats maintained their lead over Idol.

Also last night: Hannibal‘s third episode. I’ve been rooting for NBC’s new drama, hammering on its chest each week and yelling, “Live, damn you!” Yet after rising slightly in the ratings last week, the serial killer thriller fell 18 percent for its third episode. That result is even though Hannibal‘s new lead-in rose dramatically, and even though ABC and CBS competition were repeats again. Hannibal had 3.5 million viewers and a 1.4 rating.

And: The CW’s Vampire Diaries fell to a series low among adults 18-49 after airing repeats the last week weeks, with 1.9 million viewers and a 0.9 rating — normally TVD is always above a 1.0.

Full Chart:

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