American Idol Gives Back generated some $30 million for charity, according to the show. At its peak, more than 30 million viewers tuned into the program on Wednesday night.
The show, a two-hour charity event, grew every half hour to peak at an 11.8 rating/29 share in the key 18-49 demo at 9:30-10. The show powered Fox to a 10.0/26 18-49 average for the night, according to Nielsen overnight numbers. Idol’s charity extended to the contestants with nobody being voted off. Host Ryan Seacrest said they didn’t have the heart to vote anybody off on a charity show, but said the votes would be counted toward next week when two would-be Idols will be booted.
The next closest network in the ratings race was ABC at a 2.7/7. It was unable to crack a 2 rating up against Idol, but its average was boosted by Lost, which recorded a 4.9/13 at 10-11 p.m. That number is far from its heyday ratings , but sufficient to win the time period easily.
CBS was close behind at a 2.6/7. Its top show was CSI: NY, which averaged a 3.2/9 for second place behind Lost at 10 p.m.
NBC was unable to average a 2 rating for the night, despite a 2.4/7 average for Medium at 10 p.m. The Peacock's average was hurt by a repeat of Thank God Your Here, which only mustered a 1.5/4 against Idol.
The CW was fifth with a 1.5/4, led by America's Next Top Model at a 1.8/5.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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