Primetime Ratings: NBC, CBS, ABC Bunched Up Behind Fox

It was a tight race in primetime Wednesday night -- at least for second, third and fourth.

The winner and still champion was Fox and American Idol. Fox averaged an 8.2/21 in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings, thanks to a 10.2/27 for Idol from 8 p.m.-9 p.m.

Fox continued to get strong numbers from hyped-as-a-homewrecker game show Moment of Truth, which also dominated its 9 p.m.-10 p.m. time period with a 6.2/16.

But it was a horserace for the next three spots, with NBC recording a 2.2/6, followed by CBS with a 2.1 rating/6 share and ABC with a 2.1 rating/5 share. That order could change when the final numbers come in.

NBC's top-rated show was Law & Order at 10 p.m. with a 2.9/8. L&O was also its lowest-rated show (see below).

CBS' top show was a repeat of Criminal Minds (2.1/5).

ABC's best performer was Supernanny (2.8/7), which was offset by a weak outing for Men in Trees at 10 p.m. (1.6/4).

The CW was fifth with a 1.4/4, led by America’s Next Top Model, which averaged a 1.8/5 from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. to beat NBC's L&O: Criminal Intent with a 1.6/4.

John Eggerton

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.