'Lie to Me,' 'American Idol' top Wednesday

Fox effectively switched timeslots for “American Idol” and rookie drama “Lie to Me” on Wednesday, with the combo producing week-to-week gains despite the start of daylight-saving time, which results in fewer people watching television. CBS also was on the upswing, as both it and Fox took advantage of weak lineups on ABC and NBC.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Lie to Me” easily led the 8 o’clock hour (3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall) and actually drew more viewers than the previous week when it followed “American Idol.” And “Idol” itself shot up thanks to airing in the later 9 p.m. timeslot (8.8/22 in 18-49, 24.9 million viewers overall), more than doubling any other program in the hour.

CBS, whose entire lineup ran original episodes for the first time in a month, racked up its best numbers on the night since December. It ran second with comedies “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and drama “Criminal Minds” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and then easily led at 10 p.m. with “CSI: NY” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall).

NBC fared poorly kicking off the night with the premiere of cooking contest “The Chopping Block” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), which came in about in line with the now-canceled drama “Knight Rider,” which had been airing at 8. “Life” followed with slightly improved numbers (1.8/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), and 10 p.m. drama “Law & Order” picked up some from there (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall).

CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was up a bit vs. its two-hour premiere of the previous week, logging the second largest audience of the season for the franchise — behind only the fall finale. It ranked second to Fox in adults 18-34 (2.0/7).

ABC was not a factor on the night, finishing behind Univision and CW with its lineup of “Scrubs” repeats (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), a “Lost” repeat (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and an original “Life on Mars” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.1/17; CBS, 3.1/8; NBC, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.7/5; ABC, 1.4/4; CW, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.0 million; CBS, 11.8 million; NBC, 5.6 million; ABC, 4.1 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 2.7 million.

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