ncis march 4 ratings TV ratings: 'NCIS' beats 'American Idol' in adults 18 49 TuesdayFast National ratings for Tuesday, March 5, 2013

“NCIS” topped “American Idol” among adults 18-49 in their common hour Tuesday night, the first time that’s ever happened. (The two shows aired opposite each other for several years before “Idol” moved to a Wednesday-Thursday schedule.)

It was close — only a tenth of a point separates the two shows at the moment — and “Idol” typically is lower than average when it airs off schedule, but it’s still a bit of a surprise.

Also Tuesday, “Golden Boy” was down from its premiere last week, and “Smash” fell to a series low for NBC. “Idol” also took a bite out of ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “The Taste,” although “Body of Proof” was up a little in viewers. “Hart of Dixie” matched its season high in The CW’s target 18-34 demographic.

CBS led the night in viewers, averaging 15.2 million and a 9.5 rating/15 share in households. FOX (11.5 million, 6.9/10) came in second. There was a big drop to third-place ABC (4.6 million, 3.1/5). NBC (3 million, 2.0/3) was fourth, and The CW (1.1 million, 0.7/1) trailed.

FOX and “Idol” won the 18-49 demographic with a 3.4 rating, beating CBS’ 2.6. ABC took third with a 1.3, followed by NBC, 0.9, and The CW, 0.4.

]]>8 p.m. CBS: “NCIS” (20.35 million viewers, 12.6/19 households)
FOX: “American Idol” (10.9 million, 6.5/10)
ABC: “Celebrity Wife Swap” (4.1 million, 2.7/4)
NBC: “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” rerun (3.6 million, 2.3/3)
The CW: “Hart of Dixie” (1.4 million, 0.9/1) 18-49 leader: “NCIS” (3.3) 9 p.m. CBS: “NCIS: Los Angeles” (15.95 million, 9.8/15)
FOX: “American Idol” (12.1 million, 7.3/11)
ABC: “The Taste” (3.2 million, 2.2/3)
NBC: “Go On” (3 million, 2.0/3)/”The New Normal” (2.4 million, 1.6/2)
The CW: “Beauty and the Beast” rerun (753,000, 0.5/1) 18-49 leader: “American Idol” (3.5) 10 p.m. CBS: “Golden Boy” (9.3 million, 6.1/10)
ABC: “Body of Proof” (6.5 million, 4.4/7)
NBC: “Smash” (2.6 million, 1.8/3) 18-49 leader: “Golden Boy” (1.6) Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company. More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable