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.