"American Idol" premiered its newest cycle Wednesday night, and the two-hour Fox program crushed everything else on broadcast prime, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that "Idol" delivered a preliminary 4.6 average rating in viewers 18-49, which was upgraded to a 4.7 with time-zone-adjusted figures. The bad news for Fox: That number was well off the pace of last year’s premiere, which delivered a 6.0.
With Fox coasting to a huge win for the night, the other big four networks essentially fought over the scraps. ABC’s "Modern Family" was the top show of the night on the other nets, averaging a 3.2 in the 18-49 demo, off three-tenths of a point from a week ago and matching its season low.
Elsewhere on ABC, "The Middle" also notched a season low with a 1.8 in 18-49, down four-tenths from last week; "Suburgatory" premiered with a 1.6, well off the pace of last year’s 2.8 premiere number but equaling last year’s finale; "Super Fun Night" slipped one-tenth to a 1.6; and "Nashville" recorded a series low, slipping one-tenth from its previous original to a 1.3.
CBS filled an hour with comedy repeats (1.2 in 18-49 for "Two and a Half Men," 1.1 for "The Millers"), then settled for a 2.4 for "Criminal Minds," equaling its previous original, and a 2.0 for "CSI," up two-tenths.
NBC failed to keep pace with the other big four nets, with "Revolution" slipping two-tenths from its previous original to a series-low 1.3 in the 18-49 demo, "Law & Order: SVU" off a whopping six-tenths from a week ago to a 1.5, and "Chicago PD" down a half-point from last week’s premiere with a 1.5 average.
For prime time overall, Fox’s 4.7 average in adults 18-49 was the class of the field, followed by CBS (1.9 average), ABC (1.8), NBC (1.4) and Univision (1.2). Fox also had a big advantage in total viewers with 15.2 million, leading CBS (8.6 million), ABC (6.1 million), NBC (5.3 million) and Univision (2.9 million).