TV Ratings: FOX, ‘American Idol’ rule Wednesday as ‘Suspect Behavior’ plummets

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 23, 2011.
Two hours of “American Idol” made sure there was no question who the ratings champion was on Wednesday night. FOX ruled in all key measures.
Among other ratings notables, CBS’ “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” went from Week One hit to Week Two dud, falling off significantly. Also falling was ABC’s “Mr. Sunshine,” while The CW’s “Shedding for the Wedding” was already low in its premiere.
For the night, FOX averaged a whopping 7.9 rating among adults 18-49, far ahead of CBS’ 3.0 rating in the key demographic. ABC’s 2.3 rating was third, beating NBC’s 1.6 rating and the 0.8 rating for The CW.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 22.6 million viewers to go with a 12.5 rating/20 share. CBS was second with a 6.9/11 and 11.51 million viewers. ABC’s 4.2/7 and 6.75 million viewers and the 3.4/6 and 5.42 million viewers for NBC followed. The CW trailed with a 1.1/2 and 1.7 million viewers.
8 p.m. – “American Idol” started primetime in first with 22.02 million viewers and a 7.5 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX. CBS’ “Survivor: Redemption Island” was steady in its second week, averaging 11.16 million viewers and a 3.3 demo rating. ABC’s “The Middle” (8.07 million viewers and a 2.4 demo) and “Better with You” (5.85 million viewers and a 1.8 demo) were third, beating the 3.9 million viewers for NBC’s “Minute To Win It.” The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” premiered its new cycle with a lackluster 2.25 million viewers, though it did a 1.1 rating in the demo, tying NBC.
9 p.m. – FOX stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour as “American Idol” averaged 23.17 million viewers and an 8.2 demo rating. CBS was second with the 13.44 million viewers for “Criminal Minds,” which also finished second for the full hour with a 3.4 demo rating. ABC was third with “Modern Family” (10.345 million and a 4.1 demo rating) and “Mr. Sunshine” (6.46 million and a 2.4 demo). NBC’s “Minute To Win It” was fourth with 4.21 million viewers. The series premiere of “Shedding For The Wedding” did a dismal 1.15 million viewers and a 0.5 demo rating, but The CW would like to note that this was better than last season’s “High Society” and “Fly Girls” performances.
10 p.m. – “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” still won the 10 p.m. hour overall with 9.92 million viewers, but that was down nearly 3 million viewers from last week, as its 18-49 rating fell to a 2.5 rating. NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” averaged 8.04 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating, both up from last week. Also up from last week, ABC’s “Off the Map” was third with 4.89 million viewers and a 1.7 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.