TV Ratings: ‘Idol’ Final 4 rises, boosts FOX to Wednesday rout

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 11, 2011. 
Who knew the kids of America were such fans of Leiber & Stoller? FOX’s antepenultimate “American Idol” performance episode of the season got a nice bump on Wednesday night, crushing its competition and even giving an audience boost to the already cancelled “Breaking In.”
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 5.8 rating for the night, far ahead of the 2.8 rating for CBS in the key demographic. ABC was third with a 2.3 rating, topping NBC’s 1.4 rating. The CW trailed with a 0.7 rating.
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 18.69 million viewers and a 10.6 rating/17 share. CBS was second with a 6.8/11 and 10.87 million viewers, still far ahead of the 3.8/6 and 6.18 million viewers for ABC. NBC’s 3.0/5 and 4.85 million viewers were good for fourth, beating The CW’s 1.1/2 and 1.6 million viewers.
8 p.m. – The first hour of FOX’s “American Idol” averaged 21.07 million viewers and a 6.4 rating among adults 18-49. That more-than-doubled the 10.44 million viewers and 3.0 demo rating for CBS’ “Survivor: Redemption Island.” ABC was third with “The Middle” (7.16 million and a 2.1 demo rating) and “Better with You” (5.96 million and a 1.9 demo rating). NBC limped along with 3.05 million viewers and a 0.9 demo rating for “Minute to Win It,” which could at least celebrate crushing the 1.23 million viewers for an “America’s Next Top Model” repeat on The CW. 
9 p.m. – FOX stayed in first for the 9 p.m. hour with “American Idol” (24.96 million and a 7.7 demo rating) and “Breaking In” (7.65 million viewers and a 2.4 demo rating), with the cancelled comedy delivering its biggest audience since its premiere (lead-ins are magical). CBS was second with the 13.08 million viewers and 3.3 demo rating for “Criminal Minds.” ABC’s “Modern Family” (10.11 million and a 4.2 demo rating) and “Cougar Town” (6.14 million and a 2.4 demo) were both up from last week, finishing third. NBC’s “Minute to Win It” averaged 3.535 million viewers in fourth. Fifth went to The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model,” up slightly from last week with 1.97 million viewers and a 1.0 demo rating.
10 p.m. – CBS’ “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” won the 10 p.m. hour with 9.08 million viewers, but came in second with a 2.1 demo rating. The key demo went to NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” with a 2.4 rating, while the procedural was second overall with 7.96 million viewers. ABC’s two episodes of “Happy Endings” averaged 3.86 million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating, basically identical to last week’s showing.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.