Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 30, 2013.
"Flat" is the new "up" when it comes to FOX's "American Idol."
Although it dipped slightly in the 8 p.m. hour, FOX's "American Idol" rose a little against "Criminal Minds" and "Modern Family" repeats in the 9 p.m. hour and ended up flat against last week's audition episode, which has to be considered a triumph for the talent show. Certainly FOX scored easy Wednesday victories in all counts.
Without their stronger lead-ins, ABC's "The Neighbors" and "Suburgatory" both struggled on Wednesday night, while The CW's "Arrow" had a low week as well.
On the more positive side, NBC's "Chicago Fire" posted good numbers against repeat competition, while CBS' "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" had a solid performance as well.
The numbers...
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.4 rating, tops in the key demographic for Wednesday night. CBS' 1.8 key demo rating was a distant second, followed by NBC's 1.6 rating and the 1.5 key demo rating for ABC. The CW averaged a 0.9 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 15.59 million viewers and a 9.1 rating/14 share, far ahead of CBS' 8.07 million viewers and 5.2/8 for the night. NBC was third with a 3.8/6 and 5.61 million viewers, ahead of the 3.0/5 and 4.63 million viewers for ABC. The CW averaged a 1.6/2 and 2.64 million viewers.
[Univision averaged 3.65 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Wednesday primetime.]
8 p.m. - "American Idol" averaged 14.845 million viewers and a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49, down from the comparable hour last week, but easily topping the 8 p.m. frame for FOX. CBS' "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" averaged 9.87 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating, the annual special's best performance since 2010. ABC was third with a repeat of "The Middle" (5.52 million and a 1.3 key demo) and a new "The Neighbors" (5.25 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo). NBC was fourth with new episodes of "Whitney" (3.585 million and a 1.3 key demo) and "Guys with Kids" (2.895 million and a 1.1 key demo). On The CW, "Arrow" dipped to just under 3 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating.

9 p.m. - The second hour of "American Idol" rose to 16.34 million viewers and a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49, leading the 9 p.m. hour for FOX. CBS was second overall with 7.175 million viewers for a repeat of "Criminal Minds," which finished fourth with a 1.6 key demo rating. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" had 6.37 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating in third. ABC was fourth overall and second in the key demo with a repeat of "Modern Family" (6.185 million and a 2.1 key demo) and a new "Suburgatory" (4.87 million and a 1.8 key demo rating). The CW's "Supernatural" averaged 2.28 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, steady despite declines for its lead-in.
10 p.m. - "Chicago Fire" won the 10 p.m. hour for NBC with 7.225 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' repeat of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" averaged 7.17 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating in second. ABC's "Nashville" repeat was a distant third with 3 million viewers and a 0.9 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.
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.