'Idol,' 'Truth' provide double punch

The combo of “American Idol” and “The Moment of Truth” helped Fox crush the competition on Wednesday, a night when its rival networks delivered meek ratings results.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” was far and away the night’s top-rated program, delivering a 9.7 rating/25 share in adults 18-49 and 25.4 million viewers overall during the 9 o’clock hour. Fox also led in the 8 o’clock hour with “The Moment of Truth” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall), which especially dominated in the half-hour preceding “Idol.”

ABC was a distant second on the night with its unscripted tandem of “Wife Swap” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and a repeat “Supernanny” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), but remained a non-factor at 10 p.m. with a firstrun episode of “Men in Trees” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).

CBS was led in demos by “Big Brother” at 8 o’clock (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), while its repeat crime dramas “Criminal Minds” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “CSI: NY” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) didn’t do a whole lot one week from their return with original episodes.

NBC had a forgetfull night early, averaging a 4 share in demos from 8 to 10 p.m. with repeats of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” before faring better at 10 o’clock with a repeat of “Law & Order,” which led the timeslot with a 2.4/6 in 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers overall).

CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) continues to perform solidly although it is down from recent editions.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.8/19; ABC, 2.0/5; CBS, NBC and Univision, 1.8/5; CW, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.7 million; NBC, 7.0 million; CBS, 6.8 million; ABC, 5.9 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 2.6 million

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