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.