scott mccreary american idol TV Ratings: 'American Idol' down just 3.5% from premiere, still wins easilyFast National ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

“American Idol” fell slightly from last week’s premiere, averaging 25.2 million viewers over last week’s 26.1 million. The first hour lost about 5% of viewers from the first hour of the premiere, while the second hour only lost 2%, as the show once again saw a rise in viewers from the first half to the second half.

Interestingly, the second Wednesday show is only down 3.5% from the premiere, but the first Thursday night show lost almost 14% from the premiere. The second Wednesday episode actually did 2.6 million viewers better than the first Thursday night show. Thursdays are not a traditional “Idol” night and it’s looking like maybe the competition is stiffer or that the hour-long format, as opposed to the two-hour format, is less appealing. It will be interesting to see how tonight’s episode fares.

Things are not looking good for “Off the Map,” as the show could not beat a “Law & Order: SVU” rerun. “Live to Dance” with Paula Abdul also slipped a bit from last week and so did “Cougar Town” without a new “Modern Family” as a lead-in.

Overall, “Idol” won handily with its 25.5 million viewers and a 13.7 rating/21 share in households. CBS was next with 9.9 million and 6.2/10, followed by ABC at 6 million, 3.9/6. NBC was next with 4.9 million, 3.1/5 and the CW’s reruns were last with 1.2 million, 0.8/1.

In the 18-49 demo, FOX was also successful, with a 9.2 rating, more than four times the number of the next closest competitor. ABC and CBS tied at 2.1, NBC earned a 1.4 and the CW had a 0.4.

Wednesday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

FOX: “American Idol” (23.8 million, 13.0/21)
ABC: “The Middle” reruns (6.8 million viewers, 4.3/7 households)
NBC: “Minute to Win It” (5.0 million, 3.1/5)
CBS: “Live to Dance” (4.8 million, 3.1/5)
The CW: “Nikita” rerun (1.5 million, 1.0/2)

18-49 leader: “American Idol” (8.5)

9 p.m.

FOX: “American Idol” (26.6 million, 14.4/22)
CBS: “Criminal Minds” (12.9 million, 7.9/12)
ABC: “Modern Family” rerun (7.3 million, 4.6/7) / “Cougar Town” (5.1 million, 3.2/5)
NBC: “Chase” (4.1 million, 2.7/4)
The CW: “Vampire Diaries” rerun (939,000, 0.5/1)

18-49 leader: “American Idol” (9.8)

10 p.m.

CBS: “Blue Bloods” (12.0 million, 7.5/13)
NBC: “Law & Order: SVU” rerun (5.5 million, 3.6/6)
ABC: “Off the Map” (5.1 million, 3.3/6)

18-49 leader: “Blue Bloods” (2.0)

information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are
preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live
telecasts. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."