Fox’s ‘American Idol’ More Than Doubles Up Competition on Wednesday

It easily leads the Big Four on a night when 'Modern Family' and 'Criminal Minds' aired reruns; 'Chicago P.D.,' 'Nashville' edge up

American Idol

The top-rated programs on both ABC and CBS were in repeats, but Fox’s “American Idol” dominated the competition on Wednesday — more than doubling up the nightly demo averages of any other network.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 3.8 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers overall, down a bit from last week when it faced tougher competition, including originals of “Modern Family” and “Criminal Minds.” Head-to-head from 8 to 10 p.m., it more than doubled Fox’s closest competitor in 18-49 (ABC, CBS and NBC all did a 1.6) and 25-54 (4.8 to a 2.3 for CBS).

Elsewhere, NBC ran second on the night in young adults with its original dramas “Revolution” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and “Chicago P.D.” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall). Though “Revolution” was down a bit week to week, the crime dramas edged up opposite repeats of their CBS drama competition. This is the second straight week of gains for “Chicago P.D.,” which was the top broadcast program in its hour in 18-49, 25-54 (2.2/5) and total viewers.

ABC aired repeats of “The Middle” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), sandwiched by an original “Suburgatory” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), which hit a low but at least retained its lead-in. Not faring as well was “Super Fun Night” at 9:30 p.m. (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), as it hit a low and held less than 70% of its repeat lead-in. Closing out the night, a firstrun “Nashville” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) was up a tick week to week, placing second among the broadcast dramas at 10.

CBS opened with its annual “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials” special (1.9/5 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which placed second in the 8 o’clock hour and tied with NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and ABC’s “Modern Family” repeat as Wednesday’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49; it was nearly on par with last year’s special. Encores of “Criminal Minds” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) followed.

CW’s “Arrow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) and “The Tomorrow People” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) both grew week to week, with the latter drawing its largest overall audience since Dec. 4.

ESPN likely stole some men away with its basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat. The 2012 NBA Finals rematch earned a season-high 2.7 overnight rating for the network.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.8/10; NBC, 1.6/4; ABC, 1.5/4; CBS, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; CW, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.6/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 12.4 million; CBS, 7.5 million; NBC, 6.5 million; ABC, 5.2 million; Univision, 3.2 million; CW, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.