'American Idol,' 'Criminal Minds' Tops on

Fox reality vet falls to a season low while the CBS crime drama hits two-month high

Fox’s “American Idol” hit a season low for a Wednesday performance episode but still was the top program on a night when ABC comedy “Modern Family” aired a repeat. CBS had a good night too, as “Criminal Minds” hit a two-month high and “CSI” won its hour.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 3.5 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., peaking with a 3.7/10 and 13.5 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock half-hour and beating CBS for the two-hour window by 25% in 18-49 (3.5 to 2.8). The music contest was down a tick from its fast national of last week (though it went up to a 3.8 in the nationals) for its lowest score of the season.

CBS opened with “Survivor” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), which placed second to “American Idol” in the 8 o’clock hour but was down a bit from last week. “Criminal Minds” followed with a strong outing (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), up 15% (0.4) from its most recent original to log its best 18-49 score since Jan. 23. And at 10, “CSI” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) celebrated its renewal for next season by winning the 10 o’clock hour comfortably.

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At NBC, “Whitney” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) was down slightly from last week, followed by a repeat episode at 8:30 p.m. (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall). The net then aired the first originals in three weeks for “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), on par with its last airing, and “Chicago Fire” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6/.3 million viewers overall), which came back lower by 15% (0.3).

ABC aired repeats of “The Middle” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) between an original “The Neighbors” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall), which wraps its season next week. Following “Modern Family,” an original “Suburgatory” averaged a 1.5/4 in 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers overall, and an encore “Nashville” closed the night (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

CW’s “Arrow” was on the low side (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), while “Supernatural” was about average (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.5/10; CBS, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.2/3; CW, 0.9/3.
In total viewers: Fox, 12.7 million; CBS, 10.5 million; NBC, 4.9 million; ABC and Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 2.5 million.

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