Fox's hit show dominated the night

Fox turned its entire primetime over to “American Idol” on Wednesday with the final night of the Hollywood weeks, as the two-hour segment of television’s top-rated series dominated in every ratings category.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a strong 9.4 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 24.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., beating its combined ABC-CBS-NBC-CW competition by 6 shares in 18-49. The balanced performer also delivered a 24 share in adults 25-54 and a 22 share in adults 18-34.

Elsewhere, ABC’s “Lost” (4.4/10 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) seemed affected by the unusual “Idol” competition, hitting a season low although it still led the 9 o’clock hour in adults 18-49. It continues to be a struggle, meanwhile, at 10 o’clock for the net’s “Life on Mars” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall).

CBS ran second in demos with both its comedies “Old Christine” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) as well as 9 o’clock drama “Criminal Minds” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall), which ran second to “Idol” in total viewers. “CSI: NY” then moved to a leadership position at 10 (3.4/9 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall).

NBC did very little opposite “American Idol” with firstrun dramas “Knight Rider” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) and “Life” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) before picking up some at 10 p.m. with a second-place finish for “Law & Order” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.4/23; CBS, 2.9/7; ABC, 2.6/7; Univision, 2.1/5; NBC, 1.6/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 24.6 million; CBS, 11.0 million; ABC, 6.4 million; NBC, 5.9 million; Univision, 4.8 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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