Fox rolls; 'Criminal Minds' solid for CBS

Another two-hour performance episode of ”American Idol” produced impressive ratings Wednesday, nearly matching or exceeding its deliveries on the comparable night a year ago as Fox beat the other major networks combined.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 7.5 rating/21 share in adults 18-49 and 23.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., beating the combined showing in the time period for ABC, CBS and NBC by 27% in 18-49 (7.5 vs. 5.9) and by 15% in total viewers (23.6 million vs. 20.5 million). It nearly matched last year’s 18-49 delivery on the comparable night and drew 8% more total viewers (23.6 million vs. 21.9 million).

Elsewhere, CBS was runner-up to ”Idol” both at 8 p.m. with ”Survivor” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), which hit a season low, and at 9 p.m. with ”Criminal Minds” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall), which was also down a bit vs. its most recent original episode. The 10 p.m. hour remains very competitive, however, as CBS’ ”Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) was edged out in young adults by NBC’s ”Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall). The Eye drama still led in adults 25-54 and total viewers, but the Peacock vet virtually pulled even in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour.

Wednesday remains a struggle early for NBC with gameshow ”Minute to Win It” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and its 9 p.m. repeat of ”Law and Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall).

ABC aired repeats of ”The Middle” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 1.5/4 in 18-49 and 5.0 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m.) and ”Modern Family” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), followed by the lowest-rated episode to date of ”Mr. Sunshine” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall). Also down was 10 p.m. drama ”Off the Map” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), which ran a distant third among the major nets.

At CW, ”America’s Next Top Model” was down (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), and ”Shedding for the Wedding” was flat (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall).

Univision moved up to third place for the night in 18-49, getting a boost from the premiere of telenovela ”Teresa” at 9 p.m. (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.5/21; CBS, 2.9/8; Univision, 1.7/5; ABC and NBC, 1.5/4; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 23.6 million; CBS, 10.9 million; NBC, 5.4 million; ABC, 4.7 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 1.6 million.

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