Fast National ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009.

The "American Idol" auditions from Salt Lake City brought big ratings to FOX on Wednesday night.

FOX averaged a 7.2 rating in the key 18-49 demographic to easily win Wednesday. ABC's 2.9 rating was a distance second, followed closely by NBC's 2.1 rating and the 2.0 rating for CBS. The CW's 0.4 rating wasn't really in the mix.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 19.54 million viewers plus an 11.1 rating/17 share. CBS was well back in second with a 5.6/9. NBC's 4.7/7 and ABC's 4.6/7 followed. The CW had a 0.8/1.

In the 8 p.m. hour, FOX got a 15.0/23 for "American Idol," which averaged nearly 27 million viewers. NBC's "Knight Rider" was second (go figure) with a 3.8/6. CBS' Katie Couric special and a repeat of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" were third with a 3.7/6, beating ABC's "Lost" repeat and the 0.8/1 for a "Privileged" repeat on The CW.

At 9 p.m. FOX's "Lie to Me" finished first with a 7.1/11, despite losing more than half of its "Idol" lead-in. A repeat of "Criminal Minds" on CBS was second with a 6.7/10, nipping the 6.4/10 for ABC's "Lost," though to be fair, "Lost" won the hour in the 18-49 demo. NBC was fourth with a "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" repeat, while The CW's "90210" trailed.

A repeat of "CSI: NY" had a 6.2/10 to win the 10 p.m. hour for CBS. NBC's "Law & Order" was second with a 5.9/10. The Wednesday premiere of "Life on Mars" on ABC failed to perform, doing a 4.0/7.

[NOTE: STARTING TODAY AND RUNNING THROUGH MARCH 29, FAST NATIONAL NIELSEN INFORMATION WON'T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL AT LEAST 10 A.M. PST. AS SOON AS IT'S AVAILABLE, THOUGH, WE'LL BE POSTING IT.]

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.