Ratings: ‘American Idol’ Down But Tops a Slow Night

“American Idol” is off but still powers Fox to a ratings win on a night when most shows are flat or decline. CBS is second

On a Wednesday night that saw most programs either slipping or treading water, Fox's "American Idol" took a hit but still pushed the network to a win in both ratings and total viewers, according to preliminary numbers.

Fox's primetime roster consisted of "Idol" from 8 to 10 p.m., which posted a 5.1 rating/14 share in the adults 18-49 demographic — a 16 percent drop from last Wednesday — and 15.9 million total viewers.

From 8-10pm last night, the vast majority of programs saw declines or were flat week over week.

CBS was second place in ratings and total viewers, with an average 2.9/8 in the demo and 11.6 million. The network's night started with "Survivor" at 8, which was down 10 percent in the demo from last week's premiere with a 2.8/8, and 10.3 million total viewers. "Criminal Minds" the following hour held steady compared to last week with a 3.1/8 in the demo and 12.6 million total viewers. "CSI" at 10 enjoyed a slight uptick for a 2.8/8 in the demo and 11.8 million total viewers.

Read More: "The Voice" Is the Top-Rated Show of the Season — Can "American Idol" Regain Lead?


ABC, in third place in ratings and total viewership with an average 2.4/6 in the demo and 6.8 million, saw an evening punctuated by slight declines to hit a series of lows. "The Middle" at 8 saw a modest decline that nonetheless yielded a season low in the demo with a 2.3/7, and 7.5 million total viewers. "Suburgatory" at 8:30 touched a series low in the demo with a 2.3/6, and 6.8 million total viewers. "Modern Family" at 9 tied last week's season low with a 4.7/12 and 11.5 million total viewers. "Happy Endings" at 9:30 saw a slight uptick in the demo, posting a 2.5/6 with 5.7 million total viewers. The network ended the night with the "20/20" special "Before They Were Famous: Oscar Nominees" at 10, which drew a 1.4/4 and 4.8 million total viewers.

NBC, in fourth place in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.2/3 and 4.1 million, aired "Whitney" at 8, which was down 12 percent versus last week with a 1.5/4 in the demo and 4.1 million total viewers, followed by "Are You There, Chelsea?" at 8:30, which posted a 1.3/3 in the demo and 3.4 million total viewers. "Rock Center With Brian Williams" at 9 dropped 14 percent to a series low of 0.6/2 in the demo with 2.7 million total viewers," while "Law & Order: SVU" closed the night at 10 with a slight dip in the demo to a series low of 1.6/4, with 5.9 million total viewers.