'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' top 9 o'clock hour

Virtually mirroring its audience pull from both the previous night and previous week, “American Idol” more than doubled the ratings of every other Wednesday primetime program in the 18-49 demo, boosting Fox to an easy victory for the evening.

Reduced to 60 minutes at 8 p.m., compared to 90 minutes a week ago, “Idol” did leave an opening for CBS’ 9 p.m. drama “Criminal Minds” and ABC 9 p.m. comedy “Modern Family” to get an audience bounce compared to seven days ago. The Eye finished second for the night, ABC third.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Idol” had a 9.8 rating and 26 share in 18-49 and 26.7 million viewers overall. That crushed its competition at 8 p.m., made up of firstrun episodes of CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (1.9/6, 6.5 million) and “Gary Unmarried” (1.9/5, 6.1 million) and NBC’s “Mercy” (1.4/4, 5.8 million), as well as reruns of ABC sitcoms “Family” (1.6/5, 5.1 million) and “The Middle” (1.7/4, 4.7 million) and the CW’s “Life Unexpected” (0.7/2, 1.7 million).

“Idol” provided a nice leadin for the second episode of new series “Human Target” (3.4/9, 10.4 million), though that wasn’t enough to beat “Minds” (4.4/11, 15.3 million) or “Family” (4.1/11. 9.8 million).

Among viewers 18-49, ABC’s 9:30 p.m. “Cougar Town” (3.4/9, 7.5 million) also beat the second halfhour of “Target” (2.9/8, 9.3 million from 9:30-10 p.m.). The CW’s rerun of “Gossip Girl” (0.4/1, 0.8 million) brought up the rear.

With Fox out of the way at 10 p.m., CBS’ “CSI: NY” (3.7/10, 13.9 million) cruised to victory ahead of ABC’s “Ugly Betty” (1.6/5, 4.6 million). “The Jay Leno Show” (1.3/4, 4.5 million) slid in the ratings compared to its previous night and week.

Preliminary 18-49 messages for the night: Fox 6.6/17, CBS 3.3/9, ABC 2.4/6, NBC 1.4/4, Univision 1.4/4, CW 0.5/1.In total viewers: Fox 18.6 million, CBS 11.9 million, ABC 6.0 million,

NBC 5.3 million, Univision 3.6 million, CW 1.3 million.

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