Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

There’s no slowing down Fox’s “American Idol,” whose Wednesday results show delivered the best numbers for the series this season, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. The net’s shows that surround “Idol” – “That ’70s Show” and “Simple Life 3″ – also performed very well.

At 9, the selection of its 12 finalists propelled “American Idol” to Wednesday highs (11.7 rating/28 share in adults 18-49, 26.6 million viewers overall), up 14% week-to-week and topping ABC’s second-place “Alias” by a huge 19 shares in adults 18-49. “That ’70s Show” (4.3/12 in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) pitched in with its best rating in 10 months, and “The Simple Life 3″ also hit highs (6.5/16 in adults 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall).

ABC placed second on the night, receiving nearly identical scores from a repeat of “Lost” (4/11 in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall), an original “Alias” (4/10 in adults 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) and a special “Primetime” (3.9/10 in adults 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall).

CBS was paced by a repeat “CSI: NY” (3.8/10 in adults 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), NBC by a repeat “Law & Order” (3.6/10 in adults 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall).

And it was another good night for UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.3/6 in adults 18-49, 5 million viewers overall), which tied “Lost” for second in adults 18-34 (2.9/9).

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.8/18; ABC, 4/10; CBS, 3.0/8; NBC, 2.9/8; UPN, 1.6/4; WB, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 15.1 million; ABC, 10.8 million; CBS, 9.7 million; NBC, 9.5 million; UPN, 3.6 million; WB, 2.3 million.

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