Fox dominates Wednesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Another expanded edition of “American Idol” and a strong week-two perf from “Wanda at Large” highlighted another Wednesday victory for Fox, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Net’s “That ’70s Show” also continues to flourish in the night’s leadoff position.

“Idol,” airing from 8:30 to 9:30, rocked to its best numbers since its second week in January (9.6/24 in adults 18-49, 20.2 million viewers overall) and new laffer “Wanda” followed with another slot-winning effort at 9:30 (6.6/16 in adults 18-49, 13.9 million viewers overall) by retaining 62% of its lead-in from the music talent show. “Wanda” was up a tick in the demo vs. its solid preem of a week earlier. Net’s “That ’70s Show” (5.6/16 in adults 18-49, 11 million viewers overall) cleaned up at 8.

The strong Fox showing made it tougher on the premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelor” (5.0/12 in adults 18-49, 10.2 million viewers), which ran second in the demo from 9 to 10. This is on par with its premiere last fall but below what the “Bachelorette” bowed to in January (prior to competition from “Idol”).

ABC ran second in adults 18-49 from 8 to 9 with a repeat of “My Wife and Kids” (3.2/9) and an original “George Lopez” (3.5/9) but fell to a distant third at 10 with the third episode of reality skein “All-American Girl” (2.6/7).

CBS’ return of “Star Search” (2.7/7 in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) ran fourth in demos and second in overall audience. The Eye was led on the night by a repeat of “CSI” at 10 (3.6/10 in adults 18-49, 10.7 million) that placed second to an original “Law & Order” on NBC (5.5/15 in adults 18-49, 15.5 million viewers overall).

NBC, runner-up Wednesday in most key measures, saw “West Wing” (4.2/10 in adults 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall) place third in 18-49 from 9 to 10, although it was up about 10% from its low week-earlier score.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.9/20; NBC, 4.2/11; ABC, 3.6/9; CBS, 3.0/8.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.4 million; NBC, 12.5 million; CBS, 10.1 million; ABC, 8.2 million.

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