Fox tops slow Wednesday

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

An expanded results show edition of “American Idol” powered Fox to another easy primetime victory in key demos Wednesday, a night that saw lower than usual ratings pretty much across the board.

Fox opted for an hourlong “American Idol” results show but by starting it a half-hour earlier than usual, it seemed to catch many viewers off guard. Skein averaged a season-low 8.9 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 21.8 million viewers overall, although the 9 o’clock half-hour was in line with its recent perfs. At 9:30, unscripted series “Unanimous” placed second in demos (5.4/13 in 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall).

ABC was paced by “Lost” (roughly 6.1/15 share in adults 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:04), which was also at a firstrun season low. “Evidence” closed out the night with a projected third-place finish (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall from 10:04-11 p.m.).

CBS saw “Amazing Race 9” droop to a season low at 8 (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall), while UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” was also on the low end (2/6 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall). NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” remained solid in the hour (4/12 in 18-49, 13 million viewers overall), down only slightly week to week.

At 9 opposite “American Idol” and “Lost,” CBS drama “Criminal Minds” ran third in demos (3.3/8 in 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall) while NBC’s “Heist” again was weak (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

CBS won at 10 with “CSI: NY” (4.2/12 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) opposite a repeat of “Law & Order” on NBC (2.7/7 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.3/17; ABC, 3.7/10; CBS, 3.3/9; NBC, 2.9/8; UPN, 1.3/4; WB, 1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 15.3 million; CBS, 11 million; ABC, 9.9 million; NBC, 9 million; UPN, 2.9 million; WB, 2.2 million.

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