State of the Union address preempts programs

It was “American Idol” and pretty much nothing else of ratings note on the final Wednesday of January, as President Obama’s State of the Union address preempted much of the evening’s programming. “Idol” dominated the opening hour opposite repeats on the competition.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, Fox’s “American Idol” averaged a 9.1 rating/25 share in adults 18-49 and 24.7 million viewers overall during the 8 o’clock hour, up slightly from its performance of the previous night but down vs. last Wednesday.

ABC fared best among the also-rans with repeats of “Modern Family” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “The Middle” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), followed by CBS’ own comedy encores of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Gary Unmarried” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall). NBC didn’t do much with a repeat of rookie drama “Mercy” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall).

Numbers are murky for the rest of the night, meanwhile, as the State of the Union address and analysis accounted for nearly two hours. Among the Big Three from 9 to 11 p.m., ABC’s stations fared best with a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers overall, followed by NBC (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and CBS (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall).

Final numbers for the State of the Union will be sustained by Nielsen because it was not supported by advertising, and thus will not count in the nightly or seasonal averages for the broadcast networks.

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