'American Idol,' 'How to Live With

'Modern Family' tops the night in demo, again beating Fox music show head-to-head

Wednesday was one of the rare nights of late when the broadcasters had something to smile about, as new ABC comedy “How to Live With Your Parents” looked pretty good in its second outing, Fox’s “American Idol” edged up week to week for the first time this season and the dramas on CBS and ABC grew from last week.

The absence of original episodes of NBC dramas “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago Fire” may have aided the hourlongs on the competition.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 3.2 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 12 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., up a tick from its national average of last week for its first week-to-week uptick this season; last week, “Idol” hit a Wednesday low of 3.1 (3.0 in the prelims). Fox won the night in all key categories as it has every week since the music contest returned to its lineup in January.

Elsewhere, ABC had reason to be pleased with the second-week performance of 9:30 p.m. comedy “How to Live With Your Parents” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), which retained 86% of its first-week demo score (2.9) — all the more impressive since lead-in “Modern Family” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) was down from last week’s 4.2 demo rating (4.1 in the prelims). ABC had been seeing retention in the area of 50-55% with recent comedies to follow original episodes of “Modern Family,” so anything above 60% has to be considered a positive. “Modern,” meanwhile, was the night’s No. 1 program in adults 18-49, beating “American Idol” head to head for a second straight week.

Earlier in the evening, “The Middle” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) was in line with last week, and “Suburgatory” was down a tick (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall). And closing out the night, “Nashville” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) edged up to its best score since mid-February, placing second in its hour.

CBS had a good night, as “Survivor” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) was about even with last week, running second to “Idol” in its hour. And from 9 to 11 p.m., dramas “Criminal Minds” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) grew 7% and 14% respectively vs. last week. This was the best 18-49 delivery for “CSI” since early February.

At NBC, “Dateline” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was down from its Wednesday premiere of last week but still up a bit vs. the net’s prior average in the 8 o’clock hour with comedies. It was followed by a repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and a special encore of the “Hannibal” pilot (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) prior to the show’s second episode in its regular timeslot tonight.

CW aired repeats of “Arrow” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.2/9; CBS, 2.6/7; ABC, 2.3/6; NBC, 1.0/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 12.0 million; CBS, 10.5 million; ABC, 7.1 million; NBC, 4.1 million; CW, 1.4 million.

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