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TV Ratings: 'American Idol' premiere plummets, but FOX wins Wednesday

'Modern Family' withstands the 'Idol' onslaught

<p>Shannon Magrane of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
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Shannon Magrane of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
 
While every single series currently on TV would kill for the young adult numbers delivered by "American Idol" on Wednesday night, there's no denying or spinning that FOX's talent show juggernaut took a steep drop in the premiere of its 11th installment, plummeting in both total viewers and the advertiser-coveted demographic.
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 7.2 rating, far below the 9.7 key demo rating "American Idol" drew for last January's two-hour premiere in Fast Nationals. ABC averaged a 3.0 rating for the night in the key demographic, beating CBS' 2.5 rating, the 1.5 rating for NBC and The CW's 0.5 rating.
 
Overall, FOX averaged a 12.2 rating/19 share and 21.61 million viewers, compared to a 14.1/22 and 26.06 million in Wednesday Fast Nationals for last January's "Idol" premiere. CBS was a distant second with 11.24 million viewers and a 7.1/11, beating ABC's 8.06 million viewers and 5.0/8. NBC was fourth with a 3.8/6 and 5.7 million viewers. The CW averaged 1.06 million viewers and a 0.7/1.
 
[Univision averaged 3.13 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 for Wednesday night.
 
8 p.m. - FOX's "American Idol" started primetime in first with 21.26 million viewers and a 6.9 rating among adults 18-49, suggesting that once "Idol" settles this season, "NCIS" may be able to hold onto its position as TV's most watched show overall. CBS aired an "NCIS" repeat and finished a distant second with 9.09 million viewers. "Idol" took a bite out of ABC's "The Middle" (8.15 million and a 2.6 key demo) and "Suburgatory" (7.02 million and a 2.5 key demo), which still came in second among young viewers for the hour. "Idol" had even greater impact on NBC's comedy block of "Whitney" (4.3 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo) and "Are You There, Chelsea?" (4.27 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo. Also slipping a bit was "One Tree Hill," which averaged 1.52 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating for The CW.
 
9 p.m. - "American Idol" rose to 21.95 million viewers and a 7.5 rating among adults 18-49 to rule the 9 p.m. hour for FOX. CBS was second overall with 12.825 million viewers and third with a 3.2 key demo rating for "Criminal Minds." ABC's "Modern Family" (11.805 million and a 5.0 key demo rating) was almost untouched by "Idol," but "Happy Endings" (6.22 million and a 2.9 key demo) slipped a little. NBC was fourth with the 6.41 million viewers and 1.1 key demo rating for "Harry's Law." On The CW, an encore of "Remodeled" averaged 605,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
 
10 p.m. - CBS closed primetime in first with 11.81 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." ABC's "Revenge" was a sturdy second with 7.58 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating, actually up a little bit from last week. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 6.41 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, down significantly from last week. 
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
Dan-feinberg-sm
Daniel Fienberg
Executive Editor
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
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