TV ratings: 'American Idol' finale way down from 2011 but FOX still dominates Wednesday

american-idol-s11-finale-ratings.jpgFast National ratings for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The season finale of "American Idol" took a big fall from last year's season ender, tumbling by 30 percent in total viewers and more than 33 percent among adults 18-49. It was still by far the biggest thing on TV Wednesday night, though, and led FOX to a big win for the night.

Elsewhere, the season finales of "Modern Family" and "Revenge" were both up over last week's ratings (though "Modern Family" was slightly below its 2011 finale numbers), and the finale of "Law & Order: SVU" on NBC had its best performance in several weeks.

FOX averaged 20.7 million viewers and an 11.8 rating/19 share in households for the night, down from 29.3 million viewers for the 2011 "Idol" finale. ABC (7.3 million, 4.7/8) was the best of the rest, beating out CBS (5.9 million, 3.9/6) and NBC (5.4 million, 3.5/6). The CW drew just under 900,000 viewers and a 0.6/1.

The "Idol" finale also gave FOX a big win among adults 18-49, but its 6.1 rating was way behind last year's 9.2. ABC came in a distant second at 2.6. CBS, 1.5, edged NBC, 1.4, for third, while The CW earned a 0.4.

Photo/Video credit: FOX