TV Ratings: 'American Idol' plunges, but FOX still rules Wednesday
'Criminal Minds' and 'CSI' both rise for CBS
The good news for FOX was that the network won Wednesday night by a comfortable margin in all key measurements. The bad news for FOX was that although the other networks were flat or also down slightly, "American Idol" shed nearly three million viewers and nearly a whole ratings point among young adults from last week for the episode that began the unveiling of the season's Top 24.
[Note that while "Idol" took a pretty large drop from last Wednesday's episode, it was only down a little in viewers from last Thursday's telecast and possibly even slightly up in the key demo.]
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.1 rating for the night, easily beating the 2.9 rating for CBS. ABC's 2.4 rating and the 1.2 rating for NBC followed, while The CW posted a 0.5 key demo rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 15.88 million viewers and a 9.2 rating/14 share for Wednesday primetime. CBS was second with a 7.1/11 and 11.57 million viewers. ABC was a distant third with a 4.3/7 and 6.85 million viewers, still way ahead of NBC's 2.8/4 and 4.13 million viewers. The CW trailed for the night with a 0.8/1 and 1.07 million viewers.
8 p.m. - "American Idol" started primetime in first with 15.35 million viewers and a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second with "Survivor: One World," which averaged 10.315 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating, both down from last week's premiere. ABC's "The Middle" (7.5 million and a 2.3 key demo) and "Suburgatory" (6.79 million and a 2.3 key demo) were third, easily beating NBC's "Whitney" (4.125 million and a 1.5 key demo) and "Are You There, Chelsea?" (3.4 million and a 1.3 key demo). The CW's "One Tree Hill" averaged 1.37 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating, making it the only show in the hour to remain flat from last week.
9 p.m. - The second hour of "American Idol" rose slightly for FOX, but still only averaged 16.41 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49, way off from the second hour bump last week. CBS' "Criminal Minds" was up from last week with 12.62 million viewers and a 3.1 key demo rating. ABC was third with "Modern Family" (11.48 million viewers and a 4.7 key demo) and the usual drop to "Happy Endings" (5.7 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo). NBC's "Rock Center" delivered a miniscule 2.69 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating, which still easily beat the 759,000 viewers and 0.3 key demo rating for The CW's "Remodeled."
10 p.m. - With reduced competition, CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" rose to 11.77 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating to rule the 10 p.m. hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" was second with 5.94 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating. ABC's "20/20" averaged 4.81 million viewers and a 1.4 key 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.