TV Ratings: ‘American Idol,’ ‘Breaking In’ premiere carry FOX on Wednesday

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 6, 2011.
FOX got its usual strong numbers from “American Idol” for 90 minutes on Wednesday before turning things over to the premiere of “Breaking In,” which plummeted, but still apparently yielded the network’s biggest comedy debut since “The Loop” capitalized on an “Idol” lead-in back in 2006.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 6.2 rating for the night, tops in the key demographic. FOX almost topped the combined totals for CBS (2.9 rating), ABC and NBC (1.4 ratings) and The CW (0.6 rating).
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 19.365 million viewers to go with an 11.1 rating/17 share. CBS was a distant second with a 6.8/11 and 11.13 million viewers, still far ahead of the 3.3/5 and 5 million viewers for NBC. ABC’s 3.0/5 and 4.475 million viewers beat the CW’s 1.0/2 and 1.38 million viewers.
8 p.m. – “American Idol” kicked primetime off in first with 21.58 million viewers and a 6.8 rating among adults 18-49, both lower than the FOX show’s performance in the same hour last week. CBS’ “Survivor: Redemption Island” was second with 10.53 million viewers and a return to a 3.1 demo rating after a couple down weeks. ABC’s two repeats of “The Middle” averaged 4.61 million viewers, beating the 3.31 million viewers for NBC’s “Minute to Win It.” The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” continued its down season with 1.89 million viewers and a 0.9 demo rating in fifth.
9 p.m. – FOX stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour with “American Idol” (24.23 million viewers and a 7.7 demo rating) and the premiere of “Breaking In” (9.88 million viewers and a 3.5 demo rating). Obviously, we’ll have to wait til next week to see how well “Breaking In” holds up. CBS was second with a strong 13.9 million viewers and a 3.6 demo for “Criminal Minds.” ABC’s “Modern Family” repeat (5.33 million and a 2.0 demo) and the season finale of “Mr. Sunshine” (4.625 million and a 1.6 demo) followed, beating the 3.66 million viewers for NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” repeat. The CW’s “Shedding For the Wedding” was fifth with 876,000 viewers and a 0.4 demo rating.
10 p.m. – With a big assist from its lead-in, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” won the 10 p.m. hour overall with 8.96 million viewers, but finished second with a 2.1 demo rating. NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” was second overall with 8.035 million and won the hour with a 2.3 demo rating. ABC’s “Off the Map” finale was third with 3.84 million viewers and a 1.3 demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.