Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

Fox’s “American Idol” again dominated Wednesday night, more than quadrupling its closest competition as it slid into its regular 9 o’clock timeslot for the first time this season. It was slow going, meanwhile, for ABC’s “Knights of Prosperity” in its new slot.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (13.4 rating/31 share in adults 18-49, 31.5 million viewers overall) mauled the competition in the 9 o’clock hour, again outperforming its delivery on the same night a year ago (when it aired at 8). NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” (3.1/7 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) put up the most resistance, rising week to week despite facing “Idol.” CBS was third in demos with a repeat of “Criminal Minds” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall).

In the opening hour, Fox drama “Bones” (4.2/11 in 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall), benefiting by airing alongside “American Idol,” easily led in all categories with its best numbers in about a year. ABC’s “George Lopez” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) opened the night with a second-place finish, but the net tumbled to sixth place in key demos at 8:30 with the first airing of “Knights of Prosperity” in its new time period (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall).

Also in the hour, NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) drew its best demo score since a special Monday airing in October. And “Beauty and the Geek” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) was on the rise with “Idol” removed from its path, tying Univision’s “La Fea Mas Bella” for second place among adults 18-34 (2.5/7).

At 10 o’clock, NBC’s “Medium” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) logged its best scores of the new year, edging out in demos a repeat of CBS’ “CSI: NY” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall). ABC’s “Primetime” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) was a distant third among the broadcasters.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.8/22; NBC, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.8/7; ABC, 2.1/5; Univision, 1.7/4; CW, 1.4/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 22.0 million; CBS, 9.6 million; NBC, 9.4 million; ABC, 5.9 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 2.8 million.

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