9:40am PT by Philiana Ng
Fox's 'American Idol,' ABC Comedies Rise in Ratings
Fox's American Idol continued to dominate Wednesday ratings as the top four finalists performed.
Idol (22.4 million total viewers, 6.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic) rose 5 percent from the previous week. Compared with the same telecast last year, Idol also grew in viewers (22.4 million vs. 19.2 million) and the demo (6.9 vs. 6.8). The Idol lead-in didn't help or hurt recently axed freshman comedy Breaking In (7.6 million, 2.4), which was steady with last week's original. The network easily topped Wednesday in both categories.
Elsewhere, some good news for ABC's comedy lineup, which improved across the board -- with the exception of rookie series Happy Endings, which found itself in a bit of a bind last week with a muted Osama bin Laden joke. New episodes of The Middle (7.2 million, 2.1), freshman comedy Better With You (6 million, 1.9), top-rated scripted program Modern Family (10.1 million, 4.2) and Cougar Town (6.1 million, 2.4) all rose. Back-to-back episodes of Happy Endings (3.9 million, 1.6) were flat.
CBS' Survivor: Redemption Island (10.4 million, 3.0) dropped 3 percent, its lowest-rated regular telecast to date. Veteran procedural Criminal Minds (13.1 million, 3.3) saw a small uptick, but spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (9.1 million, 2.1) tied its series low.
NBC's Minute to Win It (3 million, 0.9) slid double digits, which didn't help Law & Order: SVU (8 million, 2.4), declining 8 percent.
The CW's penultimate episode of America's Next Top Model drew 2 million viewers and a 1.0 rating.