'Lost' stays strong, but 'Mars' still struggles

Fox has racked up another Wednesday demo victory behind the dominant “American Idol” and the steady rookie drama “Lie to Me.” ABC’s “Lost” also remains potent on the night, although the net’s “Life on Mars” continues to struggle.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (9.9 rating/27 share in adults 18-49, 26.3 million viewers overall) beat its unspired combined competition on ABC, CBS, NBC and CW by 12 shares. It faced repeats on ABC, CBS and CW as well as firstrun drama “Knight Rider” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), which ran fourth in its hout.

At 9, “Lie to Me” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall) appears to be up a bit week to week, taking advantage of no crime drama competiton from CBS’ “Criminal Minds”; latter was preempted for a Katie Couric Grammys special (2.1/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall), which performed decently. ABC’s “Lost” (4.7/12 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall) could again move ahead of “Lie to Me” when the nationals are in, as the adventure drama continues to perform well in its penultimate season. And NBC didn’t do much in the hour with the return of drama “Life” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall).

NBC did prevail at 10 o’clock with an original “Law & Order” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall), easily topping ABC’s “Life on Mars” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), which has not shown any pop since moving behind “Lost.” And at CBS, “CSI: NY” slipped to third in demos (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.3/19; ABC, 2.8/7; CBS, NBC and Univision, 1.9/5; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 19.6 million; CBS, 7.6 million; ABCm 7.3 million; NBC, 6.8 million; Univision, 4.7 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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