TV Ratings: 'American Idol' finale draws 24 million, FOX wins Wednesday
Numbers for Lee DeWyze's win fall well behind what Kris Allen's victory did last year
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Lee DeWyze's two-hour-plus coronation as the latest "American Idol" winner couldn't compete, audience-wise, with Kris Allen's win last season, but it still allowed FOX to dominate the last night of the 2009-2010 season in all key measures.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 7.8 rating, far ahead of the 2.4 rating for CBS in the key demographic. ABC's 1.8 rating topped the 0.9 rating for NBC and The CW's 0.6 rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 23.15 million viewers to go with a 13.0 rating/22 share for the night. CBS was well back with a 6.6/11. ABC's 3.1/5 took third, while NBC's 2.2/4 was fourth. The CW trailed with a 0.9/2.
[Note: These numbers for FOX are 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. hours. The "Idol" finale extended seven minutes into the 10 p.m. hour and probably raised the show's overall average to closer to 24 million viewers and to comfortably over an 8.0 demo rating. Early Nielsen estimates have the "Idol" finale at 24.2 million.]
"American Idol" started the night in first with an 11.3/20, drawing 19.74 million viewers and a 6.5 demo rating in the 8 p.m. hour. A repeat of "Undercover Boss" on CBS did a 4.0/7 for second. ABC's telecast of the first "Transformers" movie had a 3.0/5 for third, beating NBC's "Minute to Win It" repeat. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" repeat was fifth with a 1.0/2.
In its second hour, the "American Idol" finale" improved to a 14.7/24, with 26.56 million viewers on average watching and a 9.2 demo rating (28.8 million and a 10.2 demo rating in the 9:30 half-hour). CBS' "Criminal Minds" finale was a respectable second with an 8.1/13. ABC's "Transformers" was third with a 3.2/5, while a second repeat of "Minute to Win It" had a 1.8/3 for NBC. The CW's "Top Model" repeat was fifth.
As a point of comparison, in similar Fast National figures last year, again excluding the final seven minutes of the telecast, "American Idol" did a 9.5 demo rating and averaged 27.7 million viewers.
With FOX off the grid at 10 p.m., CBS' "CSI: NY" finale had a 7.5/13 and a 2.7 demo rating. ABC's "Transformers" was second with a 3.3/6. NBC's repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" trailed.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, especially the final figures for "American Idol."