‘Idol’ strong, ‘Apt. 23’ solid Wednesday

ABC comedy runs third in timeslot as Fox rolls

On another night with more lackluster numbers for many shows, Fox’s ”American Idol” held steady as the net dominated the night. ABC’s new ”Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” looked pretty good in its bow behind the first original ”Modern Family” in four weeks.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 4.9 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 16.4 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., on par with last week when the show did a 4.7 in the prelims and rose to a 4.9 in the nationals. From 8 to 10, ”Idol” beat both CBS and ABC by 6 shares in adults 18-49. Still, it was off by about 30% from the comparable night a year ago.

At ABC, ”The Middle” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and ”Suburgatory” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) matched their season lows in the opening hour, and ”Modern Family” followed with its lowest demo delivery of the season for an original episode (4.1/11 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), though it remained the night’s top-rated scripted program among young adults. The debut of ”Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” ran third in 18-49 at 9:30 p.m. (2.9/7 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), coming in lower than some episode of ”Happy Endings” in the timeslot this season but holding on to a bigger chunk of ”Family’s” audience than any show since the premiere night of ”Happy Endings” a year ago. And at 10, the clip show ”Revenge: From the Beginning” averaged a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers overall; the rookie hit returns with new episodes next week.

CBS finished second on the night across the board, as ”Survivor” hit a season low kicking off the night (2.6/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) and at 9, ”Criminal Minds” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) matched its low set last week. And closing things out, ”CSI” hit a season low but comfortably led its 10 p.m. hour (2.3/6 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall).

NBC saw week-to-week declines for new half-hours ”Off Their Rockers” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and ”Best Friends Forever” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), and the timeslot debut of ”Rock Center with Brian Williams” was a bust at 9 p.m. (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall). At 10, an original ”Law and Order: SVU” was at season-low levels in its return (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) but more than doubled its demo lead-in score.

At CW, ”America’s Next Top Model” hit a low (0.5/1 in 18-49), with the one-time hit drawing just 1 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.9/14; CBS, 2.6/7; ABC, 2.4/7; Univision, 1.4/4; NBC, 1.1/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.4 million; CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 6.9 million; NBC, 4.2 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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