'Fifth Grader,' 'Top Model' shine Wed.


NEW YORK -- "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" continued to play well for Fox, keeping a fair amount of its audience in its second airing behind a 90-minute "American Idol" while The CW's "America's Next Top Model" premiered to viewership records in one of TV's toughest time slots.

The Mark Burnett-produced, Jeff Foxworthy-hosted game show averaged 23.5 million viewers and a 9.8 rating/23 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. That was down from Tuesday night's 26.5 million and 11.2/26 but it was still the second-best rated show Wednesday night.

"Idol" averaged 29.6 million viewers and an 11.8/30 in the demo between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

"America's Next Top Model" (5.4 million, 2.5/6) walked out on the runway for its latest cycle and garnered its highest-rated premiere ever in viewership as well as adults 18-34 (3.4/9), women 18-34 (5.4/13) and women 18-49 (3.8/8).

"Lost" (12.8 million, 5.7/15) stayed steady in the demo at 10 p.m. although it was beaten in viewership by "CSI: NY" (14 million, 4.3/11). NBC's "Medium" averaged 7.7 million viewers and a 2.5/6 in the demo.

CBS' "Criminal Minds" (14.8 million, 4.0/10) was up against "Idol" week-to-week compared to last week's 13.7 million and 3.7/9 in the demo. But "Jericho" (8.7 million, 2.4/6) only got a slight lift at 8 p.m. compared to last week's disappointing return (8.3 million, 2.3/6) after several weeks off.

NBC's "Friday Night Lights" (5.1 million, 1.8/5) came in fifth place in the hour in the demo and fourth place in viewers; ABC's "The George Lopez Show" (6.1 million, 2.2/6) gave the network its highest ratings between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. with "The Knights of Prosperity" (4.2 million, 1.7/4), "According to Jim" (5.1 million, 2.2/5) and "In Case of Emergency" (4.6 million, 2.0/5). NBC's "Deal or No Deal" averaged 9.3 million viewers and a 2.5/6 in the demo against the last half hour of "Idol" and "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"

Nightly averages: ABC (7.6 million, 3.2/8); CBS (12.5 million, 3.6/9); NBC (7.4 million, 2.3/6); Fox (28.1 million, 11.3/28); and The CW (5.3 million, 2.5/6).