Fox takes reality-heavy night

'Idol,' 'Truth' top Wednesday

“American Idol” and “The Moment of Truth” combined to give Fox another convincing ratings victory on Wednesday night, although stronger competition from unscripted programs seemed to cut into the numbers for both shows. ABC’s “Supernanny” and NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” were the best of the rest on a night when reality ruled.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (9.7 rating/25 share, 24.6 million viewers overall) was easily the night’s top show, although this repped its lowest scores of the season. It beat its combined ABC-CBS-NBC-CW competition by 6 shares in adults 18-49.

Chipping into its audience were reality programs on each of the other broadcast networks: NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” fared best in demos (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), followed by “Big Brother” on CBS (2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and “Wife Swap” on ABC (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), with the Eye and Alphabet series delivering some of their weakest scores to date. Not a factor was CW’s “Next Top Model” special (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) but the show returns with its new season next Wednesday.

At 9 o’clock, “Moment of Truth” took advantage of its massive lead-in to win the hour with a 6.1 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 14.5 million viewers overall. This was the season’s highest-rated rookie show’s lowest scores in its four airings, with its retention of “Idol” slipping to 63% — from 68% the previous week and 77% two weeks ago.

ABC’s “Supernanny” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) was a solid No. 2 in the hour, building by about 80% on its lead-in and pulling to within 4 shares of “Moment of Truth” for the 18-49 lead at 9:30. NBC drama “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” finished third (2.5/6 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall), followed by a repeat of “Criminal Minds” on CBS (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

The Peacock prevailed easily at 10 o’clock with an original episode of “Law & Order” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), followed by a repeat of CBS’ “CSI: NY” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and a firstrun episode of ABC’s struggling first-year drama “Cashmere Mafia” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.9/21; ABC, 2.5/6; CBS, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.6/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 19.5 million; NBC, 10.1 million; CBS, 7.1 million; ABC, 6.5 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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