By Tim Kenneally
“American Idol,” which stabilized last week after a period of declining ratings, stayed on an even keel Wednesday night and pushed Fox to an overall win for the night, according to preliminary numbers.
“American Idol,” on Fox at 8 p.m., had a modest boost over last Wednesday, grabbing the top ratings for the night with a 6.0 rating/17 share in the adults 18-49 demographic and 18.9 million total viewers (which was also the night’s largest viewership). Howie Mandel‘s “Mobbed” the following hour was also up slightly in the ratings from last week with a 3.0/8 in the demo, and rose 11 percent in total viewers, with 8.8 million. Overall the network took the night’s best numbers in the demo with an average 4.5/12, and took a win in total viewership, with an average 13.8 million total viewers.
ABC came in second in ratings for the night with an average 3.1/8 in the demo, and third in total viewers with an average 8.4 million. Its Wednesday night lineup returned from a three-week break, receiving either modest boosts or running flat. “The Middle” at 8 posted a 2.6/8 in the demo with 8.4 million total viewers, while “Suburgatory” at 8:30 posted a 2.5/7 with 7.2 million total viewers. “Modern Family” at 9 received a 5.5/14 in the demo and 12.8 million total viewers, making it second in ratings and third in viewers. “Happy Endings” received a 3.0/7 in the demo and 6.9 million total viewers. “Revenge” capped the night at 10 with a 2.5/7 and 7.5 million total viewers.
CBS came in third place, airing the special “CBS News: Person to Person” at 8, which received a 1.1/3 in the demo and 6 million total viewers. “Criminal Minds” at 9 posted a 3.4/9 in the demo and 13.6 million total viewers, while “CSI” at 10 took a 21 percent hit versus its last original two weeks ago, dropping to a 2.7/7 in the demo and 11.4 million total viewers.
NBC began its night with a couple of downs, but capped the night on a bright note with a resurgent “Law & Order: SVU.” At 8, “Whitney” was down 12 percent from last week with a 1.5/4 in the demo and 4 million total viewers, followed by “Are You There, Chelsea?” which was also down 12 percent with a 1.5/4 in the demo, taking 3.6 million total viewers. “Rock Center With Brian Williams” debuted in its new time period with a 1.1/3 in the demo and 5.2 million total viewers, while “Law & Order” at 10 grew 22 percent over its last original three weeks ago, posting its highest performance in the demo since Nov. 30 with a 2.2/6 and drawing 6.7 million total viewers.
NBC had highlighted the episode, which found Det. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) bonding with a young hostage-taker by talking with him about their similarly twisted fathers.