TV Ratings: ‘American Idol’ gives FOX Wednesday win, while NBC comedies tank

Senior Television Writer
04.05.12 2 Comments
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 4, 2012.

“American Idol” carried FOX to an easy Wednesday win in total viewers and young adult demographics, while NBC got some decent news from Betty White’s hidden camera prank show and none at all from comedies “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.” Meanwhile, “Happy Endings” closed its second season on a low note, ratings-wise, and the CW got the most modest of bumps for the “One Tree Hill” series finale.

For the night, FOX averaged 16.7 million viewers and a 4.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. It was followed by CBS (11.1 million, 2.8), ABC (3.8 million, 1.3), NBC (3.6 million, 1.0) and the CW (1.4 million, 0.8).

8 p.m. — “Idol” dominated the hour, with 15.3 million viewers and a 4.3 demo rating. CBS was in second with “Survivor” (10.1 million, 2.7). NBC was third for the hour with 5.5 million viewers and a 1.5 demo rating, but most of that was courtesy of “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (7.2 million, 1.8), which was up 70 percent in total viewers over last week’s “Whitney” finale in the same timeslot, albeit up only 20 percent in young adults. (It seems Betty White’s core audience is over 50.) At 8:30, the premiere of “Best Friends Forever” (3.9 million, 1.2) dropped 46 percent of its lead-in in viewers, though it was actually up a few hundred thousand viewers over last week’s finale of “Are You There, Chelsea?” (In demos, both “BFF” and “Chelsea” were identical.) ABC’s repeats of “The Middle” and “Suburgatory” combined to finish fourth (3.7 million, 1.1), followed by the first hour of the “One Tree Hill” finale (1.4 million, 0.7), which was up about a hundred thousand viewers over last week’s episode.

9 p.m. — More “Idol” dominance (18 million viewers, 5.1 demo rating) won the hour, followed by a new “Criminal Minds” on CBS (11.2 million, 3.0). A repeat of “Modern Family” and the “Happy Endings” season finale combined to average 4.3 million viewers and a 1.7 demo for ABC, but “Happy Endings” (3.7 million, 1.6) was down about 15 percent in the demo from last week. The final episodes of “Bent” continued that show’s unfortunate ratings for NBC (2.2 million, 0.8), and in the demo it actually tied the second half of the “One Tree Hill” finale (1.4 million, 0.8).

10 p.m. — A new “CSI” handily won the hour for CBS (11.9 million, 2.9 demo), followed by a “Missing” repeat on ABC (3.6 million, 1.0) and NBC’s flagging “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (3 million, 0.8).

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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