TV Ratings: 'American Idol' premiere drops again, dominates Wednesday
FOX talent show loses 4 million viewers form last season's launch
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Wednesday night's 12th season premiere of "American Idol" took a sizeable dip from last January's return, but still dominated Wednesday night and delivered one of the season's biggest non-sports primetime performances.
In preliminary numbers, the "Idol" premiere was down by over 4 million viewers and by the same 19 percent in the young adult demo. That's not great, but it's a far smaller drop than "Idol" took last season.
As strong as "Idol" is, other shows still held up against it. The CW's "Arrow" remained in line with its recent averages, CBS' "Criminal Minds" drew its biggest audience of the season and ABC's "Modern Family" was typically strong.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, FOX -- and therefore the "American Idol" premiere -- averaged a 6.0 rating, topping the key demographic. ABC's 2.5 rating and CBS' 2.1 rating followed solidly in the key demo. The CW averaged a 1.0 key demo rating to beat the 0.8 key demo rating for NBC.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 17.81 million viewers and a 10.2 rating/15 share, topping CBS' 7.0/11 and 10.67 million viewers. ABC's 4.7/7 and 7.47 finished third, well ahead of the 2.0/3 and 2.895 million viewers for NBC. The CW averaged a 1.5/2 and 2.6 million viewers for Wednesday primetime.
8 p.m. - The first hour of "American Idol" averaged 17.59 million viewers and a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX. A repeat of "NCIS" on CBS was second with 8.375 million viewers and tied for third with a 1.1 key demo rating. ABC was third with "The Middle" (8.2 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo) and "The Neighbors" (6.17 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo). The CW's "Arrow" took fourth with 3.13 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, beating the 2.51 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for repeats of "Whitney" and "Guys with Kids" on NBC.
9 p.m. - "American Idol" rose to 18.04 million viewers and a 6.2 rating among adults 18-49 for the 9 p.m. hour, dipping in the first half hour, but then rising again. CBS' "Criminal Minds" was second with 12.53 million viewers and third with a 2.8 key demo rating. ABC was second in the key demo and third overall with "Modern Family "(11.02 million viewers and a 4.3 key demo) "Suburgatory" (6.35 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating. NBC's repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 2.73 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating, compared to the 2.07 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for The CW's new "Supernatural."
10 p.m. - CBS claimed first for primetime's final hour with 11.1 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." ABC's "Nashville" averaged 6.54 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, its best numbers since its premiere. NBC's repeat of "Chicago Fire" averaged 3.45 million viewers and a 1.0 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.