Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 25, 2011.
 
So America was interested in Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina after all? One day after ratings pundits carped about year-to-year drops for the last "American Idol" performance episode of the season, the FOX talent show capped off its 10th season with a big finale bump, dominating Wednesday.
 
For the overall telecast, which extended seven minutes into the 10 p.m. hour, the "American Idol" finale averaged 29.3 million viewers and a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49,  up 21 percent in viewers and 12 percent over last year in the key demographic, making it the first time an "Idol" finale has posted year-to-year demo growth in five seasons.
 
As for primetime...
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged an 8.9 rating for the night, easily exceeding the combined totals for ABC (2.3 rating) CBS (1.7 rating), NBC (1.2 rating) and The CW (0.4 rating) in the key demographic.
 
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 28.16 million viewers to go with a 15.1 rating/24 share for the night. That again exceeded the combined totals for CBS (6.66 million and a 4.4/7), ABC (6.325 million, 3.9/6), NBC (4.2 million, 2.7/4) and The CW (1.05 million, 0.7/1).
 
8 p.m. - The first hour of the "Idol" finale averaged 25.37 million viewers and a 7.9 rating among adults 18-49. ABC was second with the finale of "The Middle" (7.43 million and a 2.2 demo) and a "Modern Family" repeat (6.05 million and a 1.9 demo). CBS' two repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" averaged 6 million viewers in third, beating the 3.44 million viewers for NBC's repeat of "Minute to Win It." The CW's "America's Next Top Model" repeat averaged 1.08 million viewers.
 
9 p.m. - "American Idol" rose to 30.95 million viewers and a 9.8 demo rating in the second hour of its finale. ABC's finales for "Modern Family" (10.22 million and a 4.1 demo rating) and "Cougar Town" (5.32 million and a 2.0 demo rating) finished second, beating the 6.45 million viewers for a "Criminal Minds" repeat on CBS. NBC's "Minute to Win It" repeat was fourth with 3.59 million viewers. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" repeat averaged 1.02 million viewers.
 
10 p.m. - CBS moved into first for the 10 p.m. hour with 7.52 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating for a new "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior." NBC's "Law & Order: Los Angeles" was second overall with 5.58 million viewers and third in the demo. ABC was third overall and second in the demo with the end of the "Cougar Town" finale (4.87 million and a 1.9 demo rating) and the "Happy Endings" finale (4.06 million and a 1.7 demo rating).
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.