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ABC Comedy Plunges in Ratings TVbytheNumbers

The ratings picture is becoming bleaker by the week for an ABC sitcom, taking another bad turn Wednesday night, based on Nielsen overnights. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the freshman series “How to Live With Your Parents” lost a half-point in the key 18-49 demo, slumping to a 1.5 average rating.

To be fair, the comedy series, which bowed April 3, didn’t get much help from the rest of the network lineup. It was ABC’s lone original program of the night, and part of a fifth-place finish overall for the network in prime time.

But viewership for the program has steadily eroded, with last night’s episode -- the series’ fourth -- delivering a preliminary 4.81 million total viewers. That’s down from 8.44 million for the premiere, followed by 7.33 million for episode two and 6.06 million for episode three.

Meanwhile, the ratings erosion also continued for Fox’s “American Idol,” which lost two-tenths of a ratings point from last week, settling for a 3.2 average in the 18-49 demo. The two-hour program was still the top show of the night, although it got a fight out of CBS’s “Survivor” in their head-to-head battle.

The one-hour “Survivor” delivered a 2.7 average in 18-49 at 8 p.m., equaling last week’s number. CBS led out from it with repeat programming, airing reruns of “Criminal Minds” (1.5 average rating) and “CSI” (1.5).

NBC aired two fresh programs, with “Dateline” pulling a 1.3 average rating in the 18-49 demo, up one-tenth from last week, and “Law & Order: SVU” ticking up two-tenths from its previous original to a 1.8.

For prime time overall, Fox’s 3.2 average led the way in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (1.9 average), Univision (1.5), NBC (1.4) and ABC (1.3). Fox took a big win in total viewers, averaging 12.2 million to lead CBS (7.8 million), NBC (5.6 million), ABC (4.2 million) and Univision (3.5 million).