A two-hour American Idol on Fox gave the network a big win in the primetime ratings race Wednesday. The episode was the highest-rated and most-watched of the night by far with its 23 million viewers and 7.2 preliminary rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the later number up slightly compared with last week’s 90-minute show.
On CBS, the season finale of Criminal Minds (3.3 demo rating) grew 6% from last year’s final episode (its 12.5 million viewers made it the second-most-watched show behind Idol), while the canceled Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.0) slid to its lowest-rated episode to date. On ABC, only The Middle (2.4) grew compared with its previous episode; Modern Family (4.0) was down 7%, Cougar Town (2.0) fell 13% and Happy Endings (1.6 and 1.3) dipped 6% and 7% in respective airings at 10 PM and 10:30 PM.
NBC’s Law & Order: SVU topped the 10 PM hour with a 2.8 rating, up 17% compared with last week. The CW featured the season finale of America’s Next Top Model (0.8).