In the second Wednesday of its new season, "Idol" posted a Nielsen preliminary 13.9 rating/34 share among 18-49 viewers, slightly higher than its number a year ago. Through the first four telecasts, "Idol" numbers are 3% higher among 18-49 viewers, standing at average 14.8/35.
Although "Idol" isn't making 10%-plus ratings gains for the last two seasons, programming analysts continued to be astounded that the show is making any ratings improvements at all--considering that it is in its sixth season.
Other network shows couldn't even break into the 3.0 rating range while defending their ground. The best competitors running against "Idol" at 9 p.m. include NBC's "Deal or No Deal" at a 2.7/6 in 18-49 and a repeat of CBS' "Criminal Minds," which came in at a 2.3/5 in 18-49.
Taking a worst beating from "Idol" was ABC, which saw its shows being crushed--"The Knights of Prosperity" with a 1.4/3 and "In Case of Emergency" registering an even lower 1.2/3.
The situation hit its nadir in the 8 p.m. hour against "Idol"--as network shows continued to sink versus the previous week. Only two network shows could rise above a 2.0 rating. Univision made it above a 2.0 rating, running ran second to "Idol" in the hour with "Fea Mas Bella" at a 2.6/7.
ABC's comedies at 8 p.m. had "George Lopez" with a 1.9/5 and "According to Jim" earning a 2.1/5. NBC's "Friday Night Lights" achieved similar results, with a 1.9/5. CBS' "Armed & Famous" went a bit lower with a 1.4/4. CW's "Beauty and the Geek" earned a 1.3/3.
The networks had better luck avoiding the "Idol" curse. At 10 p.m., CBS' "CSI: NY" earned a 3.8/10; NBC's "Medium" scored a 3.1/8; and ABC's "Primetime: Medical Mysteries" took in a 2.1/6.
For the night, Fox averaged overwhelming 13.9/34. Way down in second place was NBC at 2.6/7. CBS followed closely behind with a 2.5/7. ABC slipped under the 2.0 rating radar for the evening, tying Univision at a 1.8/5. CW rounded out the bottom with a 1.1/3.