'Idol' elimination snares Wed. crown for Fox


Fox handily beat the competition Wednesday night as 27.4 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 10.5 rating/27 share among adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. "Idol" won its 9 p.m. hour in all measures and was on par with last Wednesday's episode.

CBS won the 8 p.m. hour with "The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular" (14.1 million, 3.5/11), featuring Bob Barker's final appearance hosting the primetime show. The season finale of Fox's "Bones" (10.7 million, 3.4/11) came in second in the time period against the season finales of the CW's "America's Next Top Model" (6.3 million, 2.9/9) and NBC's "Thank God You're Here" (4.6 million, 1.9/6) along with episodes of ABC comedies "According to Jim" (5.5 million, 1.9/6) at 8 p.m. and "Notes From the Underbelly" (4.5 million, 1.8/5) at 8:30 p.m.

At 9 p.m., the season finales of CBS' "Criminal Minds" (13.3 million, 3.8/10) and NBC's "Crossing Jordan" (6.4 million, 1.7/4) along with the CW's "One Tree Hill" (2.7 million, 1.2/3) were no match for "Idol." ABC aired a repeat of "According to Jim" (4.1 million, 1.6/4) followed by another episode of "Notes From the Underbelly" (3.9 million, 1.8/4).

Meanwhile, this season's penultimate episode of ABC's "Lost" (12.1 million, 5.1/13) improved slightly over last week, when the 10 p.m. series tied its record low in the demo (11.9 million, 4.9/13). The show did win its time period in the demo against the season finales of CBS' "CSI: NY" (12.9 million, 3.9/10) and NBC's "Medium" (7.9 million, 2.6/7).

Overall, Fox (19 million, 7.0/20) won the night in total viewers and the 18-49 demo, followed by CBS (13.4 million, 3.7/10), ABC (7 million, 2.9/8), NBC (6 million, 2.0/6) and the CW (4.5 million, 2.0/6).