Fast National ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009.

FOX's "American Idol" improved on its lower-than-expected Tuesday performance, while the season premiere of ABC's "Lost" drew in younger viewers on Wednesday.

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 7.4 rating, far ahead of ABC's 4.5 rating. CBS' 2.9 rating and the 1.9 rating for NBC followed. The CW had a 0.5 rating for fifth.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 19.3 million viewers, plus an 11.0 rating/17 share. CBS took second with a 7.0/11, followed closely by the 6.2/10 for ABC. NBC's 4.3/7 and The CW's 0.8/1 followed.

At 8 p.m. FOX got a 14.3/22 from "American Idol," drawing 25.43 million viewers. ABC's "Lost: Destiny Calls" special with second, beating the 4.7/7 for CBS' "New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried." NBC had a 3.2/5 for "Knight Rider." The CW's "13 - Fear Is Real" had a 0.9/1.

CBS moved into first place at 9 p.m. with an 8.7/13 for "Criminal Minds." FOX was second with the premiere of "Lie to Me," which fell to a 7.7/12 from its lead-in. ABC was third with a 6.8/10 for the first hour of the "Lost" premiere. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" was fourth, beating The CW's "90210."

CBS won the 10 p.m. hour with a 7.7/12 for "CSI: NY." ABC's "Lost" won the hour in the 18-49 demo and had a 6.4/10 for the hour, topping "Law & Order" on NBC. Overall the "Lost" premiere underperformed last year's season averages. 

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National 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.