Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 29, 2012.
The Top 12 performances by the "American Idol" women drew a bigger audience on Wednesday than their male counterparts did the night before, but the "Idol" Men drew a bigger audience of young viewers. FOX won both nights, so draw your own conclusions.
The week-to-week comparison for "Idol" was similar -- up in viewers, but down in the key demo -- which allowed many of the competing shows on ABC and CBS to have slight week-to-week increases.
Meanwhile, it was a weak launch for the new installment of "America's Next Top Model" on The CW.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.9 rating for Wednesday night, easily beating ABC and CBS' 2.9 ratings in the key demographic. NBC was a distant fourth with a 1.2 rating, still doubling up the 0.6 rating for The CW.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 17.03 million viewers and a 10.0 rating/16 share for Wednesday night, far ahead of the 7.0/11 and 11.43 million viewers for CBS. ABC was fourth with a 5.1/8 and 8.06 million viewers. Then there was a big drop top NBC's 4.03 million and 2.8/4 and to The CW's 1.0/1 and 1.42 million viewers.
8 p.m. - FOX's "American Idol" started primetime in first with nearly 16.5 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Survivor: One World" was second with 10.56 million viewers and a 2.9 key demo rating. ABC followed with "The Middle" (8.49 million and a 2.6 key demo rating) and "Suburgatory" (7.19 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating). was far back with "Whitney" (4.13 million and a 1.5 key demo) and "Are You There, Chelsea?" (3.54 million and a 1.3 key demo). The CW's "One Tree Hill" averaged 1.555 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "American Idol" was up to 17.56 million viewers and a 5.1 key demo rating to win the 9 p.m. hour for FOX. CBS' "Criminal Minds" was second with 12.5 million viewers and third with a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Modern Family" (11.68 million and a 4.8 key demo) and "Happy Endings" (6.18 million and a 2.8 key demo) were both up. NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" averaged 2.89 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating. There were years "America's Next Top Model" would have competed with those "Rock Center" numbers, but instead the CW competition show averaged 1.29 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" dropped from last week with 11.22 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49, but still was able to hold off the 7.42 million viewers and 2.4 key demo rating for "Revenge." NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 5.38 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating in third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
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.