TV Ratings: Tiny Olympic bump for NBC Wednesday, while 'Idol' and 'Criminal Minds' get close
Didn't figure skating used to be more popular than this?
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Despite a reputation as the most popular of Olympic events, the start of the ladies figure skating competition from Sochi gave NBC only a small night-to-night bump on Wednesday, not that the less-than-impressive growth kept the network from dominating primetime in all measures.
In purely hypothetical terms, we'll see if NBC gets a bigger bump for Thursday's figure skating if early reports have either Ashley Wagner or Gracie Gold making a run for the medal podium.
FOX's second straight two-hour "American Idol" performance episode almost perfectly mimicked Tuesday's episode, but "Idol" was edged out by CBS' new "Criminal Minds" overall and only barely held off the procedural in the key demo.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 5.0 rating for Wednesday night, not-quite-doubling the 2.6 rating for FOX in the key demographic. CBS was third with a 1.8 key demo rating, followed by ABC's 0.8 key demo rating and the 0.3 key demo rating for The CW.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 20.11 million viewers and a 12.2 rating/19 share for Wednesday primetime, doubling up FOX's 6.0/9 and 9.88 million viewers. CBS was third with 8.36 million viewers and a 5.5/9, well ahead of the 2.94 million viewers and 2.0/3 for ABC. The CW averaged 888,000 viewers and a 0.6/1 for the night.
8 p.m. - The first hour of NBC's Olympics coverage averaged 18.555 million viewers and a 4.5 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 8 p.m. hour with ease. FOX's "American Idol" was second with 9.91 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating. CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" repeat averaged 5.635 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, compared to the 3.6 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for ABC's repeats of "The Middle" and "Suburgatory." The CW's "Arrow" repeat averaged 1.01 million viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - NBC's Olympics telecast improved to 20.93 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' "Criminal Minds" averaged 9.91 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating, compared to the 9.84 million viewers and 2.6 key demo rating for "American Idol." ABC was fourth with a "Modern Family" repeat (4.17 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo) and a new "Super Fun Night" (2.74 million and a 0.9 key demo). The CW's "Tomorrow People" repeat averaged 769,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC completed its primetime sweep with 20.84 million viewers and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49 for Olympics coverage in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" averaged 9.61 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo rating, rather comfortably ahead of the 1.76 million viewers and 0.5 key demo rating for ABC's "Nashville" repeat.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.