Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 21, 2010.
FOX’s two-hour (and then some) “American Idol” special “Idol Gives Back” was down slightly from other recent results shows, but up from the last “Idol Gives Back” telecast two years ago. Of course, that “Idol Gives Back” was only a telethon with no results show attached, but up is up.
Although FOX’s early primetime numbers don’t even go up to the elimination, which took place somewhere around 10:20 p.m. ET, the network dominated the repeat-heavy competition to win the night in all key measures.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.8 rating. NBC was a distant second with a 1.8 rating, followed by the 1.6 rating for both ABC and CBS in the key demographic. The CW’s 0.9 rating trailed.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 18.4 million viewers in primetime to go with a 10.4 rating/17 share. CBS was second with a 4.4/7, nipping the 4.3/7 for NBC. ABC’s 2.8/5 and the 1.3/2 for The CW brought up the rear.
“Idol Gives Back” started the night in first for FOX with a 9.7/17 and a 5.4 rating in the demo. CBS’ “The New Adventures of “Old Christine” and “Accidentally on Purpose” and NBC’s “Mercy” posted a 3.5/6 for second, with CBS’ comedies holding the advantage in viewers. ABC’s repeats of “The Middle” finished fourth. The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” had a 2.1/3 for fifth overall, but did a 1.4 demo rating to beat “Mercy” for the hour.
FOX stayed on top in the 9 p.m. hour with an 11.0/18 for the “American Idol” special, which also did a 6.1 demo rating. CBS’ repeat of “Criminal Minds” was second with a 5.2/8, beating NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” repeat. Two repeats of “The Middle” gave ABC a 3.3/5 for fourth overall, but put ABC in second in the demo. The CW’s new “Fly Girls” and “High Society” lurched along with a 0.6/1 for fifth.
[The 10 p.m. hour is out of FOX’s primetime range, but it should be noted that “American Idol” did a 10.4/17 in the 10:00 half-hour, which was mostly “Idol.”]
In the recorded half-hour, NBC finished first with a 5.9/10 and a 2.7 demo rating for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” CBS’ “CSI: NY” was second with a 4.6/8. ABC’s “Cougar Town” repeats were third.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.