TV ratings: 'American Idol' down 17%, still dominates the night

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american-idol-S11-premiere.jpgFast national ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

"American Idol," while still the top program of the night, saw a 17% drop in total viewers over the Season 10 debut a year ago. It averaged 21.6 million viewers over its two-hour premiere, in contrast to Season 10's 26.1 million. Season 11 was down 28% over its Season 9 debut. It was the biggest drop the show has ever had between season premieres, which have been declining in numbers since the highest-rated premiere in Season 6.

FOX won the night easily, with 21.6 million viewers and a 12.2 rating/19 share in households. CBS was second with 11.2 million, and a 7.1/11, followed by ABC at 8.1 million, 5.0/8 and NBC with 5.7 million, 3.8/6. The CW trailed with 1.1 million and 0.7/1.

In the adults 18-49 demo, FOX also dominated with a 7.2, though that was down 26% over last year's 9.7. It was followed by ABC (3.0), CBS (2.5), NBC (1.5) and the CW (0.5).

Wednesday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX: "American Idol" (21.3 million, 12/19)
CBS: "NCIS" rerun (9.1 million, 5.9/9)
ABC: "The Middle" (8.2 million, 5.0/8)/ "Suburgatory" (7.0 million, 4.3/7)
NBC: "Whitney (4.3 million, 2.8/4)/"Are You There, Chelsea?" (4.3 million, 2.7/4)
The CW: "One Tree Hill" (1.5 million, 1.0/2)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (6.9)

9 p.m.

FOX: "American Idol" (21.95 million, 12.3/18)
CBS: "Criminal Minds" (12.8 million, 8.0/12)
ABC: "Modern Family" (11.8 million, 7.0/11)/"Happy Endings" (6.2 million, 3.8/6)
NBC: "Harry's Law" (6.4 million, 4.2/6)
The CW: "Remodeled" rerun (605 K, 0.4/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (7.5)

10 p.m.

CBS: "CSI" (11.8 million, 7.4/12)
ABC: "Revenge" (7.6 million, 5.1/8)
NBC: "Law & Order: SVU" (6.4 million, 4.3/7)

18-49 leader: "Revenge" (2.3)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.


Photo/Video credit: FOX