'Revenge' wins in return, 'Apt. 23' solid in second outing

Fox’s two-hour ”American Idol” again stood as Wednesday’s top-rated program, but ABC had some good news too as its lineup — with three first-year shows, including a pretty good second outing by ”Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” — was up vs. the same night a year ago.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s ”Modern Family” was the evening’s top-rated scripted program (4.0/11 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), though even it couldn’t escape a season low — as shows are prone to doing in spring as the days get longer and the weather nicer across the country. Still, ”Modern” was up a bit year to year, and rookie 9:30 p.m. comedy ”Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” held up well in its second outing (2.6/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), retaining 90% or more of last week’s premiere in key categories and coming in above ”Cougar Town” in the slot a year ago. And closing out the night, ”Revenge” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) returned from a six-week break with a timeslot victory in an hour where chief competitor ”CSI” was in repeat. ”Revenge” was down a bit in 18-49 vs. its most recent episode, but came in above last year’s 10 p.m. programming (an hour of ”Happy Endings”) by more than 30% in the demo.

Earlier in the evening, rookie comedy ”Suburgatory” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) built on its repeat lead-in from ”The Middle” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and improved upon last year’s ”Better With You” in the 8:30 p.m. half-hour by about 25%. Most impressive for ”Suburgatory,” which may have been boosted Wednesday from the first of four scheduled guest appearances by Alicia Silverstone, was that it nearly matched the prior week’s rating when it had an original ”Middle” behind it.

At Fox, ”American Idol” averaged a 4.7/13 in 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., winning each half-hour and matching the combined 18-49 deliveries of ABC and CBS in the time period. ”Idol” was down a bit more week to week, and remained off about 30% from last year, but it figures to stand as the week’s No. 1 program in demos.

CBS opened with a second-place finish for ”Survivor” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was flat week to week and down about 13% year to year. The reality vet was followed by repeats of ”Criminal Minds” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and ”CSI” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

NBC joined ABC in posting year-to-year gains as ”Off Their Rockers” continues to put up fairly good numbers kicking off the night (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). It wasn’t too pretty the rest of the way, though, as ”Best Friends Forever” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) remained low, as did ”Rock Center” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), despite the latter seeing an uptick. And at 10, ”Law and Order: SVU” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) was down a bit in demos week to week to a season low.

CW’s ”America’s Next Top Model” was up a bit week to week (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.7/13; ABC, 2.4/7; CBS, 2.0/6; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.2/3; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.5 million; CBS, 7.9 million; ABC, 7.0 million; NBC, 4.4 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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