'Idol' Still Reigns, But With 20% Viewer Decline

American-Idol-new-season-A2TV's once mighty "American Idol" hasn't completely fallen -- it's just less mighty -- for the start of its 12th season.

Fox's "Idol" posted a 20% decline to a Nielsen preliminary 6.0 rating/16 share among 18-49 viewers, pulling in 17.9 million overall viewers. The new season start of "Idol" has fallen to its lowest levels since the first season it began.

Still, a 6.0 rating is a powerful number, with only a few TV shows getting it this season. A week ago, CBS' special "Star Trek"-themed "Big Bang Theory" soared to a 6.4/19 -- its highest ever 18-49 tally.

Fox easily won Wednesday night as most networks ran to reruns -- except for ABC, which stuck with its comedy lineup -- not losing much from its week-ago result.

It got the best results from "Modern Family" at 9 p.m., which took in a 4.3/11, a show which was down from a 4.7 the week before. "The Middle," which runs right opposite "Idol" at 8 p.m., held up fairly well, with a 2.3/7, the show was down a bit versus the week before.

Overall ABC was still way behind Fox, posting less than half the result of Fox (6.0/16) on the night with a 2.5/7.

CBS came after Fox and ABC, with a 2.1/6. It ran a "NCIS" rerun earlier in the evening against "Idol,"  then got its best results with a 2.8/7 from "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. At 10 p.m., "CSI" posted a 2.3/6.

CW posted some better news for its new "Arrow," up one-tenth of a rating point to 1.1/3 among 18-49ers, and 3.1 million viewers overall. "Supernatural" was even with a week-before at 0.9/2, and 2.1 million overall viewers. It had an ovearll 1.0/3 for the 18-49 demographic on the night.

With a night of all reruns, NBC was at a 0.8/2. A 10 p.m. rerun of "Chicago Fire", had the best numbers for the network, a 1.0/3.

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