Fox show nearly triples night's runner-up series

Fox has reason to be pleased with the second-week hold of “American Idol,” whose Wednesday seg came within 10% of its comparable delivery from a year ago and again crushed the competition, which included repeats of ABC’s top comedies.

“Idol” will face tougher competition in coming weeks, as CBS’ “Survivor” and firstrun episodes of ABC’s “Modern Family” return, but right now the music competition series is hardly missing a beat despite the significant changes the show underwent this season. On Wednesday, its two-hour installment averaged a big 9.2 rating/24 share in adults 18-49 and drew 25.2 million viewers overall — beating its combined ABC-CBS-NBC competition from 8 to 10 p.m. by 61% in 18-49 (9.2 vs. 5.7).

It was down just 5% from its season premiere of last Wednesday, with Fox noting that this is the show’s best such retention from week one to week two in five years.

And compared with the same night a year ago (the second Tuesday of the season), it was down just 9% in 18-49 and 5% in total viewers.

Elsewhere, ABC and CBS tied for second in adults 18-49 with the Alphabet getting fairly good repeat numbers for “The Middle” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and 2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m.) and “Modern Family” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall). They were followed by original episodes of “Cougar Town” (third-place 2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and new drama “Off the Map” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), which ran second among the Big Three at 10 o’clock and was down 14% week to week.

At CBS, “Live to Dance” continues to struggle opening the night (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), but “Criminal Minds” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) had no problem surging to a second-place finish in the 9 o’clock hour — rising vs. last week when it faced the “Idol” premiere and an original episode of “Modern Family.” And holding steady at 10 was “Blue Bloods” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall), which led its broadcast rivals by 1 share in 18-49 and by 2 shares in 25-54.

NBC opened modestly with gameshow “Minute to Win It” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), followed by rookie drama “Chase” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), which picked up a bit week to week but still ran a distant fourth among the Big Four in the 9 o’clock hour. And at 10, a repeat of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was competitive in most demos with original dramas on ABC and CBS.

CW aired repeats of “Nikita” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and “The Vampire Diaries” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall). Its lineup of “America’s Next Top Model” and new reality entry “Shedding for the Wedding” debut next month.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.2/24; ABC and CBS, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.4/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 25.2 million; CBS, 9.9 million; ABC, 6.0 million; NBC, 4.9 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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