The finale of “America’s Next Top Model” on Wednesday helped young net CW log its best night to date, while the return of “King of Queens” scored for CBS, which led the evening in key ratings categories, according to preliminary Nielsen nationals.

From 8 to 9, “America’s Next Top Model” (3.0 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) set records for the finale of an edition in key demos including 18-49 and adults 18-34 (3.3/10); it led the time period in 18-34 and dominated in females 12-34 (5.8/17). Net stayed solid at 9 as “One Tree Hill” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) notched season highs and its best delivery in women 18-34 (4.1/11) since February 2004.

Overall from 8 to 10, CW led all networks in adults 18-34 (3.3/10), notching the best nightly average in its first 80 days on the air.

At CBS, a full hour of vet laffer “King of Queens” averaged a 3.4/10 in adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers overall, winning the 8 o’clock hour in these measures and delivering the Eye’s best demo performance in the hour since week three of “Jericho” in October. Net also fared well with repeats of “Criminal Minds” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and “CSI: NY” (3.8/11 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall).

NBC’s “Biggest Loser” hit a season high at 9 (4.0/11 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), narrowly leading its hour in 18-49, and “Medium” was above its recent averages to rank second at 10 (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall).

ABC continues to struggle from 8 to 10 with “Show Me the Money” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Day Break” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) before showing some spunk at 10 with the premiere of a limited “Primetime” series called “Basic Instincts” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall).

Fox ranked fifth on the night in 18-49, although just a tick behind fourth-place ABC’s all-firstrun lineup, with two repeats of “Bones” that averaged a 2.1/6 in 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.7/10; NBC, 3.2/9; CW, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.1/6; Fox, 2.0/6; Univision, 1.7/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.2 million; NBC, 8.3 million; Fox, 6.3 million; ABC, 6.1 million; CW, 5.2 million; Univision, 3.9 million.