TV ratings: ‘American Idol’ rises; ‘Criminal Minds’ returns big

“American Idol” kicked off its Hollywood stint Wednesday night to higher viewership and its first week-to-week gain among key young adults this season.

“Idol,” now in its 13th season, drew 13.3 million viewers overall, up 7% from last week’s episode, according to early numbers from Nielsen, making it the most watched program of the night. More importantly, it posted a 3.9 rating among advertiser-preferred 18-to-49-year-olds, an improvement of 3% from last Wednesday.

While that’s a tiny increase, it could be a positive omen for a show that last year didn’t post a weekly uptick until Week 13.


Ratings for the veteran singing contest have fallen over the years and the show is trying to regain viewers with its revamped roster of judges, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV

CBS’ Wednesday dramas returned in a big way after a week off. “Criminal Minds” drew its biggest audience in well more than a year with its 200th episode drawing 12.8 million viewers, and it increased its 18-49 rating 27% to a 2.8. “CSI” posted a 25% gain from its last new episode to a 2.0.

ABC’s comedy block was solid against “American Idol,” starting with “The Middle,” which matched its 18-49 rating from its last original episode (2.2) and increased its total viewership by 8%. “Suburgatory” rose 13% to a 1.7 in the young adult demographic and “Modern Family” improved slightly to a 3.5. “Super Fun Night” got a big bump, up 23% to a 1.6 in 18-49. “Nashville” didn’t fare as well against its drama competition, down 13% to a 1.3.

NBC aired another Winter Olympics special ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, bringing in 4.4 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” fell slightly in the key demo from last week, but “Chicago P.D.” held steady with last week’s 1.7 rating against the new “CSI” episode.

On the CW, “Arrow” fell a tick to a 1.0 in 18-49 and “Tomorrow People” sank two-tenths of a point to a 0.5.


Sputtering ‘X-Factor,’ weak films crimp Fox’s profit

CBS looks to NFL for bigger bang on Thursday nights

TV ratings: ‘Biggest Loser’ finale down from last year

Twitter: @rfaughnder