Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox’s “American Idol” remained a dominant force with its fifth episode of the season on Wednesday, crushing all rivals in the 8 o’clock hour, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

From 8 to 9, “American Idol” (11.9/31 in adults 18-49, 28.3 million viewers overall) rolled to victory, down only slightly from its huge Wednesday preem a week ago. That helped Fox win the night with ease even though “The OC” (3.3/8 in adults 18-49, 8.5 million viewers) aired a rare repeat.

ABC placed second on the night in 18-49, powered by a slot victory in demos at 9 with “The Bachelorette” (5.0/12 in adults 18-49, 11.1 million viewers). Its opening-hour comedies and the 10 o’clock reality series “Celebrity Mole” (3.7/10 in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers) both ran second in their slots.

NBC settled for third with a night of repeats, led at 10 by “Law & Order” (4.9/14 in adults 18-49, 14.3 million viewers). CBS was again led by “King of Queens,” whose repeat at 9 was a competive second in 18-49 (4.3/11) and first in total viewers (12.4 million). An original “48 Hours” at 10 placed third in both 18-49 (2.7/7) and 25-54 (3.5/9).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.6/19; ABC, 3.8/10; NBC, 3.3/9; CBS, 2.9/8; WB, 2.1/5; UPN, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.4 million; CBS, 10.5 million; NBC, 9.8 million; ABC, 8.9 million; WB, 5.0 million; UPN, 3.0 million.

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