Fast National ratings for Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009.

Carried by a strong performance by the season's first "American Idol" results show (and a less strong performance from "Lie to Me"), FOX easily won Wednesday night in most key measures.

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 6.5 rating, beating ABC's 3.0 rating and the 2.9 rating for CBS in the key demographic. NBC's 1.7 rating was fourth and The CW's 0.3 rating was extra-low in fifth.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 17.8 million viewers and a 10.3 rating/16 share. CBS was second with a 7.4/12. ABC was a distant third with a 4.6/7, while NBC's 3.9/6 was enough for fourth. The CW's 0.6/1 trailed.

"American Idol," which set the first three members of the season's Top 12, won the 8 p.m. hour with a 14.0/22 for FOX. CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried" were second with a 4.7/6. NBC's "Knight Rider" and ABC's "Lost" repeat tied for third, wile The CW got a 0.6/1 from a "Privileged" repeat.

CBS moved into first at 9 p.m. with the 9.5/15 for "Criminal Minds." FOX's "Lie to Me" squandered more than half of its lead-in and fell to a 6.6/10, nipping the 6.5/10 for ABC's "Lost," though "Lost" won the hour in the 18-49 demo. NBC's "Life" was fourth with a 3.3/5. The CW's "90210" was fifth.

"CSI: NY" gave the 10 p.m. hour to CBS with an 8.1/14. NBC's "Law & Order" was second with a 4.8/8, while ABC's "Life on Mars" was well back 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.