'Idol' dominates Wed.; 'Wedding Bells' rings


Fox's "American Idol" dominated another Wednesday night, while the network's new series "Wedding Bells" got off to a respectable start.

The performance "Idol" featuring the remaining eight female contestants drew 28.5 million viewers and 11.1 rating/30 share among adults 18-49, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research.

David E. Kelley's "Bells" received good sampling in its special preview behind "Idol," averaging 12.5 million viewers and a 5.2/13 in 18-49 and ranking as the top program in the 9 p.m. hour. However, it held on to only 47% of its sizable "Idol" lead-in among 18-49, down from the 82% retention for the Fox's new quiz show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" the same night last week. "Bells," a wedding planning dramedy starring Teri Polo, KaDee Strickland and Sarah Jones, also saw a 20% demo dropoff from the first to the second half-hour.

NBC's crime drama "Crossing Jordan" (8.0 million, 2.4/6) had a so-so return to the schedule in its new Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot but built on its "Deatline" lead-in by 20% among adults 18-49. It also helped "Medium" (8.7 million, 3.0/8) at 10 p.m. to

CW had a good night with "America's Next Top Model" (4.4 million, 2.0/5) and an encore of "Pussycat Dolls" (3.7 million, 2.0/5), which virtually matched its premiere performance.

For the night, Fox averaged 20.5 million viewers and a 8.2/21 among adults 18-49, followed by ABC (8.3 million, 3.5/9) and CBS (11.2 million, 3.2/8).