Wednesday Prime Time: Fox Crushes the Competition TVbytheNumbers

With Fox’s “American Idol” ruling the roost, none of the other broadcast networks were able to mount a challenge in prime time Wednesday night, based on Nielsen overnights. reports that “Idol’s” 5.4 average rating in the key 18-49 demo -- about even with a week ago -- put Fox way ahead of the pack. The best anyone else could muster for prime time overall was a 1.8.

Some of the competitors didn’t try very hard -- CBS and ABC both put up a mix of repeats and originals. NBC gave it a go with a lineup of fresh episodes, but all of them were down from their previous originals.

For the night, Fox led the way with its 5.4 average in viewers 18-49, followed by CBS (1.8 average), NBC (1.6), ABC (1.5) and Univision (1.4). Total viewers was a bit more competitive but still a big win for Fox with 15.6 million to 8.1 million for CBS, 5.6 million for NBC, 4.6 million for ABC and 3.6 million for Univision.

CBS’s only fresh programming was “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials,” which came through with a 2.1 in 18-49, improving one-tenth of a point from last year.

ABC broke out new episodes of “The Neighbors” -- down two-tenths of a point from last week to a 1.6 in viewers 18-49 -- and “Suburgatory” -- down four-tenths to a 1.8.

NBC’s grim results saw “Whitney” slipping to a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo, down one-tenth of a point from its previous original; “Guys With Kids” checking in with a 1.1, down two-tenths; “Law & Order: SVU” pulling a 1.7, down four-tenths; and “Chicago Fire” with a 2.0, down two-tenths but good enough to win the 10 p.m. hour against repeats on CBS and ABC.