TV Ratings: 'American Idol' boosts 'So You Think You Can Dance' on Wednesday
'Idol' was way down from last year's performance finale
Limping to the end of a difficult season, the start of FOX's "American Idol" finale still helped the network win Wednesday in all key measures and gave a lift to the second night of "So You Think You Can Dance."
Depending on how you look at it, "Idol" was either way up from last week or way, way down from last year's finale performance night. Either way, most of the rest of the competition was flattish, with small bumps for "Nashville" and "Chicago Fire" and small drops for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "CSI."
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 2.6 rating, tops in the key demographic for Wednesday night. ABC's 2.0 key demo rating was followed closely by the 1.9 key demo rating for CBS and by NBC's 1.6 key demo rating. The CW did a 0.9 key demo rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 9.34 million viewers and a 5.9 rating/10 share for Wednesday, beating CBS' 5.2/9 and 7.94 million viewers. ABC averaged a 4.1/7 and 6.37 million viewers compared to the 4.3/7 and 6.33 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged a 1.5/3 and 2.51 million viewers.
[Univision averaged 3.36 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Wednesday.]
8 p.m. - "American Idol" won the 8 p.m. hour for FOX with 11.57 million viewers and 2.9 million viewers. [Naturally, FOX boasts that those numbers are up 22 percent in total viewers and 16 percent among adults 18-49 from the comparable hour last week. The finale performance hour last season did a 4.2 key demo rating and roughly 14.4 million viewers on a Tuesday.] NBC's "Dateline" was second overall for the hour with 5.78 million viewers and third with a 1.3 key demo rating. ABC was third overall and second in the key demo with "The Middle" (6.6 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo) and "Family Tools" (4.51 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating). Two repeats of "2 Broke Girls" averaged 3.89 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, just in front of the 2.65 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating for the season finale of The CW's "Arrow."
9 p.m. - "Criminal Minds" moved into first overall with 10.31 million viewers for CBS, coming in second with a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. ABC was second overall and first in the key demo with "Modern Family" (9.745 million and a 3.5 key demo) and "How To Live..." (6.16 million and a 2.0 key demo). FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" rose to 7.11 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in its second night, beating the 6.35 million viewers and 1.5 key demo rating for NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." The CW's season finale of "Supernatural" drew 2.36 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - The "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" season finale drew 9.62 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 to lead the 10 p.m. hour for CBS. NBC's "Chicago Fire" was second with 6.87 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating (topping "CSI" in the demo in the 10:30 half-hour). ABC's "Nashville" was third with 5.61 million viewers and a 1.8 key 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.