TV's new top-rated show appears to be... its old top-rated show.
After being ousted earlier this season by NBC's "The Voice," Fox's "American Idol" looks to have reclaimed its position as the top-rated non-sports show -- a position it held for eight years. (Including sports, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" leads both shows this season.)
"Idol" reclaimed the ratings honor with Wednesday's show, according to preliminary numbers, Fox said.
As of Wednesday, "Idol" averages a 6.2 rating for the season in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, compared to a 6.1 for "The Voice," according to the preliminary figures.
It's good timing for Fox. "Idol" yields the highest ad price on television, and networks will present their upcoming slates to advertisers at this month's upfront presentations in New York. If not for "Idol" reclaiming its crown, NBC, the fourth-place network, would have been able to make the big boast that it now claimed the top-rated show on TV.
NBC will still get to set a higher price for "The Voice" ads than it did this season, given the show's higher ratings. But it won't get to claim top ratings honors, unless it overtakes "Idol" again.
The apparent "Idol" success is more a matter of "Voice" ratings slipping from early highs than "Idol" surging. "Idol" has been relatively stable throughout the year, while "The Voice" has lost a big early lead.
As first reported by TheWrap, "The Voice" surpassed "Idol" as TV's top-rated show earlier this year thanks in large part to a season two premiere after the Super Bowl that yielded a huge audience. But as the "Voice" has slipped on Monday nights -- and as Tuesday shows have lowered its average -- "Idol" has reclaimed its ratings throne. "The Voice" mostly dominated Mondays since its debut, but new competition from the return of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" weakened its hold.