Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Both "Human Target" and "American Idol" took big drops in their first airings in their regular Wednesday homes, but FOX held on to narrowly win the night.

Among adults 18-49, FOX had a little breathing room, doing a 5.0 rating in the key demographic, beating the 3.4 rating for CBS. ABC's 2.5 rating was third, well ahead of the 1.2 rating for NBC, leaving The CW's 0.4 rating in fifth.

Overall, things got a little messy. CBS averaged an 8.3 rating/14 share, nipping the 8.2/13 for FOX, though FOX averaged 14.29 million viewers, compared to the 13.38 million for CBS. ABC was a distant third with a 4.0/7, with NBC's 3.3/5 good for fourth. The CW's 0.6/1 was fifth.

CBS started the night in first with a 6.9/11 for a "Super Bowl's Great Commercials" special, which also won the hour in the key demo with a 2.9 rating. FOX's "Human Target" was second with a 4.7/8, far lower than its post-"Idol" showings, as the first-year drama slipped to third in the key demo with a 2.4 rating. ABC's "Modern Family" repeat and a new "The Middle" had a 4.4/7 overall and finished second in the demo. NBC's "Mercy" was fourth with a 4.1/7 and a 1.6 demo rating. The CW's repeat of "Life Unexpected" was fifth.

FOX moved into first at 9 p.m. with "American Idol" doing an 11.8/18 in its first regular 9 p.m. episode of the season, though "Idol" did only a 7.7 demo rating (down from the 9.1 rating at 8 p.m. last Wednesday) and 20.83 million viewers (down from 24.75 million last week). CBS' "Criminal Minds" was second with a 9.1/14. ABC's "Modern Family" (5.5/8) wasn't greatly impacted by "Idol," but "Cougar Town" (4.0/6) appears to have been. NBC was a distant fourth with a "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" repeat. The CW's "Gossip Girl" repeat had a 0.4/1.

CBS got an 8.9/16 from "CSI: NY," which also won the 10 p.m. hour with a 3.4 demo rating. ABC's "Ugly Betty" did a 2.9/5 to take second, though NBC's third place "The Jay Leno Show" actually averaged more viewers.

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.