Up Against Dominant ‘Idol,’ a CBS Staple Falls to a Historic Low; So How Did NBC Do? Don’t Ask

Apr 12, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Fox’s dominant “American Idol” claimed its share of casualties among the broadcast competition Wednesday night, as Fox soared to a big win for the night in the Nielsen overnights, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.

Among the victims: CBS’s reality staple “Survivor,” which hit its lowest number ever for a regular telecast with a 2.6 average rating in the 18-49 demo, going head-to-head with hour one of “Idol” at 8 p.m. Later in the night, CBS’s “CSI” didn’t fare especially well either, dropping 21% to a 2.3, still good enough to win the 10 p.m. hour.

Also suffering against the two-hour “Idol” was ABC’s “Modern Family” at 9 p.m., which still easily scored the second-best number of the night but returned from its three-week break to a 4.1 in 18-49, down 9% and a substantial four-tenths of a ratings point from its previous original. That performance may have contributed to a lackluster launch for its lead-out, ABC’s new comedy “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23,” which scored a decent but not awe-inspiring 2.9 in the 18-49 demo.

As for Fox’s “Idol,” it was even with last week with a healthy 4.9 average in 18-49, with the possibility that it might adjust even higher. For prime time overall, Fox easily outdistanced the pack with its 4.9 in the 18-49 demo, ahead of CBS (2.6 average), ABC (2.4), Univision (1.4) and NBC (1.1). Total viewers saw Fox way out front with an average of 16.4 million, followed by CBS (11.0 million), ABC (6.9 million), NBC (4.2 million) and Univision (3.7 million).

NBC’s results in the key 18-49 demo read like a dirge: “Betty White: Off Their Rockers,” down two-tenths to a 1.6; “Best Friends Forever,” down 25% to a 0.9; “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” down 25% (even though it has been moved an hour earlier to 9 p.m.) to a 0.6; and “Law & Order: SVU,” returning to a 1.6 that was only good enough for a tie with ABC’s “Revenge” recap show for second place at 10 p.m.

Ending on a bright (-ish) note, ABC’s “The Middle” and “Suburgatory” and CBS’s “Criminal Minds” were all even with their previous originals.

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