'Idol' cutdown dices all; CBS' Barker man of hour

Fox sweeps Wed. in viewers, demo

Fox handily beat the competition Wednesday night when 28.1 million total viewers tuned in to see who made the cut as the final two contestants on "American Idol."

The elimination episode of "Idol" — which saw the departure of Melinda Doolittle, leaving Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis as this year's top "Idol" finalists — posted a 10.8 rating/27 share among adults 18-49, easily the top-rated show of the night, according to Nielsen Media Research. "Idol" won its 9 p.m. hour in all measures and built slightly on last Wednesday's episode.

CBS won the 8 p.m. hour with "The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular" (14 million, 3.5/11), featuring Bob Barker's final primetime appearance hosting the show. The season finale of Fox's "Bones" (10.9 million, 3.5/11) came in second in the time period against the season finales of the CW's "America's Next Top Model" (6.4 million, 3.0/9) and NBC's "Thank God You're Here" (4.6 million, 1.9/6), along with episodes of the ABC comedies "According to Jim" (5.4 million, 2.0/6) at 8 p.m. and "Notes From the Underbelly" (4.6 million, 1.9/5) at 8:30 p.m.

At 9 p.m., the season finales of CBS' "Criminal Minds" (13.2 million, 3.7/9) and NBC's "Crossing Jordan" (6.4 million, 1.7/4), along with the CW's "One Tree Hill" (2.7 million, 1.1/3), were no match for "Idol." ABC aired a repeat of "Jim" (4.2 million, 1.6/4) followed by another episode of "Underbelly" (3.9 million, 1.8/4).

Meanwhile, this season's penultimate episode of ABC's "Lost" (12.3 million, 5.2/14) improved slightly over last week, when the show sunk to some of its lowest demo ratings ever. "Lost" did win its 10 p.m. time period in the demo against the season finales of CBS' "CSI: NY" (13.1 million, 4.0/10) and NBC's "Medium" (7.8 million, 2.6/7).

Overall, Fox (19.6 million, 7.2/20) won the night in total viewers and the 18-49 demo, followed by CBS (13.4 million, 3.7/10), ABC (7.1 million, 2.9/8), NBC (6.3 million, 2.1/6) and the CW (4.6 million, 2.0/6).