'Idol' streak comes to an end

Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 1:45pm

For the first time in six years, "American Idol" didn't win its time period.

After 222 victorious episodes, Wednesday's "Idol" was beaten at 9 p.m. by NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics.

NBC had its most-watched night of the Vancouver Games so far. An estimated 29.4 million viewers tuned in as U.S. stars Lindsey Vonn, Shani Davis and Shaun White won Olympic gold.

Wednesday has been called the greatest single day in Winter Olympics history, with Team USA earning six medals, three gold. The win keeps NBC's coverage trending higher in the ratings than the Torino Games in 2006.

On Fox, "Idol" hit a season low, drawing 18.4 million viewers and a 6.9 rating — though still easily winning the night among non-sports programming. It's the lowest-rated "Idol" since April of 2004. At 8 p.m., also airing against Olympic competition, Fox's "Human Target" (7.1 million, 2.1) slipped from last week's rise. All other broadcast competitors aired repeats.

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