Network fueled by 'American Idol,' 'Bones'

Fox was an easy winner on Wednesday behind the “American Idol” results show and a solid victory in the night’s opening hour for a special episode of “Bones.” ABC’s “Lost,” meanwhile, remained the night’s top scripted program among young adults.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (8.0 rating/20 share in adults 18-49, 23.5 million viewers overall) dominated Wednesday’s middle hour of primetime, roughly matching the combined delivery of ABC, CBS, NBC and CW. Kicking off the night, a special firstrun episode of Thursday drama “Bones” easily led in all categories (3.0/9 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall), slightly outperforming its recent delivery on its regular night.

At ABC, the opening-hour comedy combo of “Scrubs” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and “Better Off Ted” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) was up slightly week to week, beating out CBS repeat comedy “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and firstrun laffer “Gary Unmarried” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall). “Lost” (roughly 4.0/10 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.) was on the low side but did edge up week to week and ran second to “Idol” in all key categories. And at 10:02 p.m., “The Unusuals” should come in with roughly a 1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall — down about 10%-12% from its soft debut of the previous week.

CBS was paced by repeats of “CSI: NY” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), while NBC struggled all night with its repeats of “Law & Order” at 8 (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) and 10 (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and a special 9 p.m. encore of “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

At CW, “America’s Next Top Model” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) ran third in the night’s opening hour among adults 18-34 (1.8/6).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.5/15; ABC, 2.6/7; CBS, 2.4/7; Univision, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.5/4; CW, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.1 million; CBS, 9.4 million; ABC, 6.7 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 2.4 million.

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