TV Ratings: Another Wednesday, another ‘American Idol’-fueled FOX win

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 4, 2011.
Depending on how you look at it, FOX’s “American Idol” was either down notably from last week’s airing, or up notably from the comparable airing last year. Either way, the FOX talent show dominated the 8 p.m. hour and carried FOX to yet another comfortable Wednesday win.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.4 rating for the night, easily tops in the key demographic. CBS was a distant second with a  2.8 rating, followed by ABC’s 2.1 rating and the 1.5 rating for NBC. Fifth place went to The CW with a 0.7 rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 17.23 million viewers and a 10.0 rating/16 share. CBS was second with a 6.7/11 and 10.74 million viewers. There was a big gap to ABC’s 3.8/6 and 5.86 million viewers and, right behind, the 3.2/5 and 5.03 million viewers for NBC. The CW was last with a 1.1/2 and 1.5 million viewers.
8 p.m. – “American Idol” ruled the 8 p.m. hour for FOX with 19.435 million viewers and a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49. [That’s off from over 21 million and a 6.7 demo rating for the first hour last Wednesday and NBC might also note that “The Voice” did a 5.8 demo rating for the 10 p.m. hour last night.] CBS’ “Survivor: Redemption Island” averaged 10.66 million viewers and a 3.0 demo rating, in line with season averages. ABC’s new episodes of “The Middle” and “Better with You” averaged 6.32 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating in third, still topping the 3.38 million viewers for NBC’s “Minute to Win It.” A repeat of “America’s Next Top Model” averaged 1.145 million viewers on The CW.
9 p.m. – FOX remained in first with “American Idol” (a big bump to 22.79 million viewers and a 7.1 demo rating) and “Breaking In” (7.25 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating, down only slightly from last week). CBS’ “Criminal Minds” was a competitive second with 12.82 million viewers and a 3.2 demo rating. ABC finished third with “Modern Family” (9.64 million and a 3.8 demo) and “Cougar Town” (5.56 million and a 2.2 demo rating). NBC’s repeat of “Minute to Win It” averaged 3.41 million viewers in fourth. The CW’s new “America’s Next Top Model” drew a low 1.86 million viewers and a 0.9 demo rating.
10 p.m. – CBS moved into first for the 10 p.m. hour with 8.75 million viewers for “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” which was second with a 2.2 demo rating. NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” was a close second in viewers with 8.31 million (beating CBS in the 10:30 half-hour) and won the hour with a 2.5 demo rating. ABC’s two new episode of “Happy Endings” finished third with 3.66 million viewers and a 1.6 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.