Many shows drop in first week of daylight savings time

Most series seemed to be affected by the start of daylight savings time Wednesday, with Fox’s ”American Idol” easily the night’s No. 1 program despite declines. Series on the competition that hit season lows included ABC’s ”Modern Family,” CBS’ ”Criminal Minds” and NBC’s ”Whitney.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 5.3 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 17.9 million viewers overall for its two-hour edition, down vs. last week but not a season low for a Wednesday episode. Head-to-head, the music competition series beat out runners-up CBS and ABC by 7 shares in adults 18-49.

Elsewhere, second-place CBS saw ”Survivor” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) place second in the 8 o’clock hour, down 9% week to week. Down by a similar amount to a season low was ”Criminal Minds” at 9 (2.8/7 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall), while ”CSI” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) took advantage of no drama competition on ABC or NBC to edge up from its most recent original and dominate the hour; the crime vet was also Wednesday’s most-watched scripted program overall.

At ABC, ”The Middle” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and ”Suburgatory” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) both hit season lows, down 19% and 9% respectively from their most recent original episodes. Also at a low, off 8% from its last original, was ”Modern Family” (4.4/12 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), but it was still the night’s No. 2 program in demos. ”Happy Endings” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was up from last week, when it followed a ”Modern Family” repeat, and closing out the night, news special ”Revenge for Real” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was down from last week’s installment.

NBC opened modestly with season lows for ”Whitney” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and ”Are You There, Chelsea?” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), with the latter taking a steep tumble of about 30% week to week. And it went downhill from there, with a repeat ”Law and Order: SVU” at 9 (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and an original ”Rock Center with Brian Williams” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall). ”Rock Center” couldn’t even claim the title of most-watched primetime news series, with Fox News Channel’s ”The O’Reilly Factor” drawing 3.42 million for its 8 o’clock telecast, according to Nielsen prelims.

CW held pretty steady with ”One Tree Hill” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and ”America’s Next Top Model” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall). ”Top Model” is really struggling with its British edition, as the show’s 0.4 rating/1 share in adults 18-34 was less than half what ”One Tree Hill” did (0.9/3).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.3/15; CBS, 2.8/8; ABC, 2.2/6; Univision, 1.4/4; NBC, 0.8/2; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.9 million; CBS, 11.1 million; ABC, 6.4 million; Univision, 3.4 million; NBC, 2.9 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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