Fox takes Wednesday with rising ‘Idol’

'Survivor' up too on night heavy on repeats, specials

With the top scripted shows on ABC and CBS taking the night off, Fox dominated Wednesday with a two-hour ”American Idol,” which grew week to week. Also on the upswing were CBS’ ”Survivor” and CW’s ”America’s Next Top Model.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the 400th episode of ”American Idol” averaged a 5.6 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 18.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., peaking with a 6.0 in the demo at 9:30 that easily beat the combined score for ABC, CBS and NBC (with the latter two in repeats). ”Idol” was up 12% week to week in 18-49 — winning the night for Fox for an eighth straight week — and grew 18% in adults 18-34.

At CBS, ”Survivor” hit a high for its current edition (3.2/8 in 18-49k, 10.6 million viewers overall), placing a solid second to ”American Idol” across the board in the 8 o’clock hour. It was followed by encores of ”Criminal Minds” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and ”CSI” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall).

ABC hung in there with encores of ”The Middle” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and ”Suburgatory” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), which fared about as well in 18-49 as NBC’s original comedies in the hour. The net’s best numbers on the night came with a repeat ”Modern Family” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) and an original ”Happy Endings” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and then closed things with the ABC News crime special ”Revenge for Real: Murder in the Hamptons” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), which was airing in ”Revenge’s” timeslot.

NBC slogged its way through another Wednesday, though original episodes of ”Whitney” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) and ”Are You There Chelsea?” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) edged up opposite ABC repeat comedies; ”Whitney” hit a three-week high, and ”Chelsea” had its best score in four weeks. They were followed by a special repeat of ”Law and Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and a new edition of newsmag ”Rock Center with Brian Williams” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) in its temporary new home at 10 o’clock.

At CW, ”America’s Next Top Model” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) rebounded a bit from its weak premiere of last week, and will hope to gain more ground when Fox’s ”Idol” scales back from its current two-hour installments on Wednesday. Opening the night, ”One Tree Hill” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) was steady week to week four weeks from its series finale.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.6/15; CBS, 2.2/6; ABC, 1.7/5; Univision, 1.4/4; NBC, 1.2/3; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.5 million; CBS, 8.7 million; ABC, 5.1 million; NBC, 3.7 million; Univision, 3.4 million; CW, 1.4 million.

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