'American Idol,' 'America's Next Top Model' Shine on Wednesday

Rash Report: Fox Gets An Easy Victory Against Repeats

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- Americans watched "American Idol" on Fox, as well as "America's Next Top Model" on the CW, which tied a season high, but little else last night, as repeats and rejected series on rival networks gave Fox an easy victory. Overall the network averaged a 5.3/15 rating and share in the ad-centric 18-to-49 demographic, well ahead of CBS (2.5/7), ABC (2.1/6), NBC (1.5/4) and the CW (1.2/3).

'America's Next Top Model' gave the CW an uncharacteristic second place.
'America's Next Top Model' gave the CW an uncharacteristic second place. Credit: The CW
"Idol's" lead-in, "Lie to Me," fell to a series-low 2.3/7 -- yet still won the low-rated 8 p.m. hour. "Top Model" (1.9/6), however, gave the CW an uncharacteristic second place, tied with ABC's "Scrubs" (1.9/6). Right after, "Better Off Ted" (1.7/5) tied a series low. CBS was fourth in the hour with second showings of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (1.4/5) and "Gary Unmarried" (1.8/5), while NBC finished fifth with a repeat of "Law and Order" (1.2/4).

NBC ran another "Law and Order" rerun at 10 p.m. (1.8/5), as the two sandwiched a repeat of "Law and Order: SVU" (1.5/4), which made NBC seem more TNT in programming and delivery.

CBS had better luck with its police procedural "Criminal Minds" (3.5/10), which won the hour and was up 3% from the usual time-slot sleuths of "CSI:NY." But showing how rerun-resistant even CBS's more traditionally loyal audience is, a "Criminal Minds" rerun at 9 p.m. delivered only a 2.3/6,off 38% from normal levels.

And if CBS watchers are loyal, "Lost" viewers are rabid. Yet even they have limits, as evidenced by a compilation show that declined 37% to a 2.9/7. But even original episodes of a new show couldn't help ABC, as 10 p.m.'s "The Unusuals" (1.4/4) hit its second series low in as many nights.

And after the CW's solid start with "Top Model," a rerun of the remade "90210" (.5/1) lost nearly three-fourths of the rating of its lead-in.

Thursday: Say what you will about sweeps, but all but one network show is an original episode tonight. With all genres well-represented, set your DVRs!
Friday: Then again, even sweeps can't tidy up the mess that defines most Friday-night network TV. So maybe it's time to catch up with the overlooked and underrated, "Everybody Hates Chris" on the CW.

It's probably the last week in which viewers will begin watching the CBS's "Harper's Island," a serialized series with a limited run. The more episodic "Southland" looks to continue its media momentum as one of the few bright spots for NBC.

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NOTE: All ratings based on adults 18-49. A share is a percentage of adults 18-49 who have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all adults 18-49, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. adults 18-49 population with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)

John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see rashreport.com.

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