Fox rolls as 'Modern Family,' other ABC shows drop

One week from its finale, a rising ”American Idol” dominated Wednesday’s ratings race for Fox. Also on the night, CBS’ ”Criminal Minds” impressed with its two-hour finale, likely contributing to lower scores this week’s for ABC’s shows.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, Fox’s ”American Idol” averaged a 4.8 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 17.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., peaking with a 5.3 rating in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour. Up 7% week to week, ”Idol” beat the combined 18-49 deliveries of the next two closest nets (ABC and CBS) from 8 to 10. It also drew its largest overall audience in seven weeks.

At CBS, the two-hour season finale of ”Criminal Minds” averaged a strong 3.5/10 in 18-49 and 13.5 million viewers overall, logging the show’s best scores in more than three months and outperforming its averages for last season’s hourlong finale. Earlier in the evening, the net aired special repeats of ”Mike and Molly” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and ”Rules of Engagement” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).

The stronger-than-usual showing for CBS from 9 to 11 p.m. could have helped drag down ratings for the penultimate episodes of the season for ABC’s ”Modern Family” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), ”Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and ”Revenge” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall), all of which matched or hit season lows. In the night’s opening hour, ”The Middle” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) matched last week’s score but ”Suburgatory” surprisingly was down to a season low with its finale (1.8/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall).

At NBC, ”Off Their Rockers” continues to do decent numbers, doing a 1.4/5 in 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers overall at 8 p.m. and then producing a 10-week high for the net at 8:30 (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall). Following a repeat of ”Law and Order: SVU” at 9 p.m. (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall), an original episode of the crime vet in its regular timeslot averaged a 1.7/5 in the demo and drew 5.5 million total viewers.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.8/14; CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.3/6; Univision, 1.5/4; NBC, 1.3/4; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.3 million; CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 6.6 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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