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Ratings: ‘American Idol,’ ‘Criminal Minds’ Top Wednesday; ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Lifts Fox

Fox’s “American Idol” and CBS’ “Criminal Minds” were the top-rated programs on the final Wednesday of January, a night that featured repeats on ABC and NBC. Fox, which beat its rivals in key demos, also got a boost out of the timeslot debut of “Hell’s Kitchen,” which has taken over for drama “Second Chance.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week to match its highest Wednesday rating since the show’s Jan. 6 season premiere. It was the night’s No. 1 program across the board and led its 8 o’clock hour over CBS comedies by 2 share in 18-49 and 3 shares in 25-54. It was followed by the timeslot premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), which has moved over from Friday to replace drama “Second Chance,” which had mustered a mere 1.0 in the demo in its second chance on the night last week; as part of a timeslot swap, “Chance” will air on Fridays starting tomorrow.

CBS placed second to Fox on the night in demos, but was unable to take advantage of some key repeats on the competition. “2 Broke Girls” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “Mike & Molly” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) were each down a tick week to week even though ABC comedy competitors “The Middle” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) both aired encores.

Criminal Minds” remained strong at 9 p.m. for CBS (2.0/6 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), matching its season high of the previous two weeks and dominating the 9 o’clock hour. At 10 p.m., though, “Code Black” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) was down a tick from last week despite going up against a repeat “Chicago PD” on NBC. The first-year hospital drama did win its hour in key demos and total viewers.

ABC aired repeats of all of its comedies, with “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” followed as usual by “Modern Family” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall). And at 10 p.m., “American Crime” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) edged down slightly again but held up pretty well considering this week’s lead-in was at least half a point lower than the prior three weeks. In “live plus-7” results for its Jan. 6 premiere, released earlier this week by Nielsen, the John Ridley drama shot up 0.8 in 18-49 (1.2 to 2.0), the second-year show’s biggest time-shifting lift to date.

NBC aired repeats of “The Mysteries of Laura” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), the latter of which tied or won outright over ABC’s “American Crime” across the board. Compared with repeats of the same shows a year ago, last night fared better by 29% in 18-49 (0.9 vs. 0.7) and by 26% in total viewers (4.9 million vs. 3.9 million).

At CW, “Arrow” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) held at last week’s numbers. “Arrow” placed second among the broadcasters for the 8 o’clock hour in both 18-34 (0.9/4) and men 18-34 (1.0/5).

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