Fox's "American Idol" reversed a pattern of declines on Wednesday, improving modestly in the ratings and handing the network an overall win for the night. Meanwhile, ABC's "Modern Family" dipped but still posted the night's best ratings, according to preliminary numbers.
Fox, which ran "American Idol" throughout its primetime slate, drew first place in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic with a 3.2 rating/9 share and in total viewership with 12 million total viewers. Those numbers represent a 7 percent increase in the demo, contrasted with the minor declines that the show had been suffering for the past several Wednesday nights, and a 4 percent increase in total viewers.
CBS came in second in ratings and total viewers with a 2.6/7 and 10.5 million. "Survivor" at 8 p.m. inched down to a 2.4/8, tying a series low, and had 9.1 million total viewers. "Criminal Minds" the following hour increased modestly to a 3.0/8 and took 11.3 million total viewers, while "CSI" at 10 jumped 14 percent in the demo, pulling a 2.4/7 and grabbing 10.9 million total viewers.
ABC was in third place in ratings and total viewers with a 2.3/6 and 7 million. "The Middle" at 8 drew a 2.0/6 with 9 million total viewers, while "Suburgatory" at 8:30 inched down to a 1.7/5 and had 5.6 million total viewers. "Modern Family" at 9 dropped 10 percent for a 3.8/10 -- the night's best performance in the demo -- and had 10.2 million total viewers. The new comedy "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)" at 9:30 dropped off 14 percent from last week's series premiere for a 2.9/8 and had 11.2 million total viewers, while "Nashville" at 10 increased slightly for a 1.8/5 and took 6 million total viewers.
NBC was fourth in ratings and total viewers with a 1.0/3 and 4.1 million. Aside from "Dateline" at 8, which was down 14 percent with a 1.2/4 and drew 5.3 million total viewers, the network aired repeats.