TV Ratings: Wednesday 'American Idol' premiere keeps FOX on top
'Idol' slips slightly and CBS' 'Criminal Minds' and 'CSI: NY' are solid
"American Idol" was down slightly in its second night, but not far enough down to knock FOX off of its soon-to-be-familiar Wednesday perch.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged an 8.5 rating for the night, comfortably ahead of the 3.1 rating for CBS in the key demo graphic. ABC's 2.2 rating and NBC's 1,7 rating followed. The CW trailed with a 0.3 rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 21.78 million viewers, to go with a 12.2 rating/19 share. CBS' 7.1/12. NBC's 4.1/7 was good for third, with ABC's 3.8/6 in fourth. The CW's 0.5/1 trailed.
FOX started the night in first with a 14.1/22 for "American Idol," which also did a 9.4 demo rating. CBS finished second with a 3.9/6 for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried." NBC's "Mercy" had a 3.8.6 for third, nipping ABC's "Modern Family" repeat and a new "The Middle." The CW's "One Tree Hill" trailed with a 0.6/1.
In the 9 p.m. hour, "American Idol" (15.8/24, with an 11.5 demo) and an encore of Sunday's "Simpsons" (4.7/7) finished in first. CBS' "Criminal Minds" was a solid second with an 8.6/13 for "Criminal Minds." CBS' "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" had a 5.0/8 for third. ABC's "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" did a 4.7/7 for fourth. The CW's "Gossip Girl" trailed.
[Note that the night to night drop for the "Idol" Tuesday and Wednesday premiere was larger than last year's.]
CBS moved into first at 10 p.m. with an 8.8/15 for "CSI: New York," which also did a 3.6 rating in the demo. NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" finished second, beating the 3.1/5 for ABC's "Ugly Betty."
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.