Two-hour 'Idol' alone at top Wed.


NEW YORK -- A two-hour competition/fundraiser "American Idol" was the night's top show in all key demographics, putting Fox atop the ratings heap for another night.

"Idol" averaged 26.4 million viewers and a 10 rating/26 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. It rose from 21.6 million viewers at 8 p.m. to a peak of 30.2 million at 9:30 p.m.

Nothing else came close on its rival networks. CBS' drama "Jericho" (7.7 million, 2.1/6) came in a distant second place at 8 p.m. to "Idol" ahead of ABC's "According to Jim" (5.4 million, 1.8/5) and "Notes From the Underbelly" (4.9 million, 1.9/5), the CW's "America's Next Top Model" (3.8 million, 1.8/5) and a repeat of NBC's "Thank God You're Here" ( 4.4 million, 1.5/4).

CBS came in a distant second again at 9 p.m. with a repeat of "Criminal Minds" (9.8 million, 2.6/6), an original "Crossing Jordan" (6.4 million, 1.8/5) and a repeat of "Lost" (3.8 million, 1.4/3).

The newest "Lost" episode dipped slightly in viewership compared with last week, with 11.6 million viewers and a 4.9/13 in adults 18-49. But it was still enough to beat "CSI: NY" (11.2 million, 3.2/9) and NBC's "Medium" (7.1 million, 2.4/6).

Nightly averages: Fox (26.4 million, 10/26); CBS (9.5 million, 2.6/7); ABC (6.9 million, 2.7/7); NBC (6 million, 1.9/5); and the CW (3.3 million, 1.5/4).