TV Ratings: ‘American Idol’ starts to stabilize, and ‘Touch’ opens well to give FOX Wednesday win

Senior Television Writer
01.26.12 4 Comments


Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

“American Idol” is still down significantly from last season, but starting to stabilize. And its raw numbers, combined with a promising sneak preview for the Kiefer Sutherland drama “Touch,” gave FOX an easy win in the Wednesday ratings. Meanwhile, Marg Helgenberger’s “CSI” farewell brought back a few million extra viewers. 

For the night, FOX averaged a 5.2 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, and 15.9 million viewers overall. CBS (2.9, 11.9 million) was in second, followed by ABC (1.5, 4.4 million), NBC (1.3, 4 million) and the CW (0.5, 1.1 million).
8 p.m. — After dropping 19 percent of its ratings from last week’s premiere to its second episode, “Idol” (6.5, 19.5 million) was up on the Thursday numbers and down only 7 percent from the premiere. No one else was in the ballpark, with a “Criminal Minds” repeat (1.7, 7.9 million) in second for CBS, followed by ABC’s repeats of “The Middle” and “Suburgatory” (combined to average 1.5, 4.7 million). On NBC, “Whitney” and “Are You There, Chelsea?” combined to average a 1.4 and 4.2 million viewers. “Whitney” was actually up a few hundred thousand viewers overall from last week, but down slightly in the demo, while “Chelsea” was down 22 percent from last week’s ratings. The CW’s “One Tree Hill” (0.7, 1.5 million) brought up the rear.
9 p.m. — “Touch” (3.9, 11.9 million) retained about 61 percent of the “Idol” lead-in audience. Considering that most of what FOX has put after “Idol” lately has been lucky to retain half the “Idol” audience (in comparison, last Thursday, “The Finder” only retained 39 percent), it’s a good start for the show. The question is how many of those viewers will both remember it exists and follow it to Mondays when it next airs on March 19.
“Touch” won the hour in 18-49, but was a couple of million viewers overall behind a new “Criminal Minds” (3.6, 13.9 million) on CBS. Repeats of “Modern Family” and “Happy Endings” combined to average a 2.1 and 5.3 million viewers for ABC, followed by a “Law & Order: SVU” repeat (1.2, 3.8 million) for NBC and a “Remodeled” repeat (0.3, 659,000) for the CW.
10 p.m. — Helgenberger’s “CSI” farewell easily won the hour with a 3.3 in the demo and 14 million viewers overall, up 2 million from last week’s episode. Another “SVU” repeat (1.4, 4 million) was off in the distance for NBC, and trailed in turn by a “Revenge” repeat (0.9, 3.1 million) for ABC.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.

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