'Top Model' continues to gain speed

Fox’s “Bones” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” delivered the best demo numbers on the final Wednesday before the start of the television season, while CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” once again improved week to week.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Bones” (3.2 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) led the night’s opening hour among young adults, rising week to week. But its growth couldn’t help Fox’s comedies that followed: Both “Til Death” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Do Not Disturb” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) declined to finish well off the pace in the 9 o’clock hour.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” approaching its finale in two weeks, won for its two-hour block in most key categories (3.1/9 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) and was the night’s most-watched program overall. In 18-49, its 3.1 rating matched the best NBC has done in the time period (excluding the two weeks of Olympics) since January. Closing out the night for NBC was a repeat of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), airing in the slot where “Lipstick Jungle” will make its second-season debut next week.

CBS aired an hour of “Old Christine” repeats (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) prior to the comedy’s firstrun debut in the 8 o’clock slot next week. And repeats of “Criminal Minds” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and “CSI: NY” (2.2/6, 8.0 million viewers overall) posted solid numbers in advance of their season premieres next week.

At CW, “America’s Next Top Model” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) rallied a bit week to week, continuing its ascent following a lackluster season premiere two weeks ago. Its 2.5/8 in adults 18-34 left it just a tick behind “Bones” (2.6/9).

ABC had a quiet night with repeats of “Wife Swap” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) and the “20/20″ special “The Royal Family” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall). In two weeks, the net rolls out the sophomore seasons of “Pushing Daisies,” “Private Practice” and “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.7/8; Fox, 2.5/7; CBS, 1.9/5; Univision, 1.8/5; CW, 1.6/4; ABC,1.3/4.

In total viewers: NBC, 10.4 million; Fox, 7.2 million; CBS, 7.1 million; Univision, 4.4 million; ABC, 4.2 million; CW, 3.1 million.

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