TV ratings: 'American Idol' premiere down significantly from last year

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american-idol-s12-premiere-ratings.jpgFast National ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013

"American Idol" returned to FOX as Wednesday's top show, but its ratings were down a good amount in both viewers and adults 18-49.

The Season 12 premiere was down 19 percent in both measures from last year's 21.9 million viewers and adults 18-49. On the (sort of) bright side, that's less erosion than last year, which was down 24 percent vs. the Season 10 debut.

Elsewhere, "Criminal Minds" had its biggest total audience of the season for CBS, and "Modern Family" and rest of ABC's comedies held up reasonably well opposite "Idol." "Nashville" rose at 10 p.m.

FOX and "Idol" averaged 17.8 million viewers and a 10.2 rating/15 share in households for the night. CBS (10.7 million, 7.0/11) came in second, beating out ABC (7.5 million, 4.7/7). NBC (2.9 million, 2.0/3) finished fourth with a night of rerun. The CW trailed with 2.6 million viewers and a 1.5/2.

FOX dominated the adults 18-49 demographic with a 6.0 rating. ABC scored a 2.5 to finish second, beating CBS' 2.1. The CW's 1.0 was good enough for fourth, topping NBC's 0.8.

Photo/Video credit: FOX