Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 18, 2011.
 
It took "American Idol" two hours to work through nine performances on Wednesday night and viewers lapped up every padded minute, given FOX a ratings rout.
 
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 7.2 rating for the night, dominating the key demographic. FOX beat the combined totals for ABC and CBS (2.2 ratings), NBC (1.6 rating) and The CW (0.7 rating).
 
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 23.03 million viewers and a 13.1 rating/21 share for the night. Again, that beat the combined audience for CBS (9.07 million), ABC (5.98 million), NBC (5.03 million) and The CW (1.52 million).
 
8 p.m. - The first hour of FOX's "American Idol" averaged 21.71 million viewers and a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49, beating the 8 p.m. hour for last week's "Idol" performances. ABC's new "The Middle" and a "Middle" repeat averaged 6.77 million viewers in second, beating the 6.32 million viewers for a repeat of "Criminal Minds" on CBS. NBC's "Minute To Win It" averaged 3.47 million viewers in fourth, far ahead of the 1.21 million viewers for The CW.
 
9 p.m. - "American Idol" improved to 24.355 million viewers and a 7.7 demo rating in its second hour. Yes, that won the 9 p.m. hour for FOX. CBS was a distant second with 12.53 million viewers and a 3.3 demo rating for "Criminal Minds." ABC was third with "Modern Family" (10.08 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating) and "Cougar Town" (5.38 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating). NBC's "Minute To Win It" was fourth with 2.9 million viewers. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" dipped for its finale with 1.83 million viewers and a 0.8 demo rating. 
 
10 p.m. - NBC moved into first for the 10 p.m. hour with 8.725 million viewers for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," which also won the hour with a 2.8 demo rating. On the day of its official cancelation, "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" was second with 7.965 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating. ABC's two new out-of-sequence episodes of "Happy Endings" finished third with 3.44 million viewers and a 1.4 demo rating.
 
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.