Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s 90-minute American Idol (7.7/22 in adults 18-49, 20.6 million), featuring performances by the 12 female semi-finalists, was down 3% in 18-49 and flat in total viewers from last week’s two-hour Wednesday edition. Vs. the comparable night last season and the boys’ semi-final round on Tuesday, Idol was up 3% and 1%, respectively, in 18-49. With Idol vs. Raising Hope as a lead-in, new Fox comedy Traffic Light (2.8/8) expectedly posted double-digit week-to-week gains, 75% in 18-49. Still, its Idol lead-in retention was only 36%. Fox easily won the night with an average of a 6.5/18 in 18-49 and 18.8 million viewers.

For the second time this season NBC is killing the ratings momentum of the Law & Order franchise by slotting a rerun right after the shows post promising gains. It happened in October when, after 2 consecutive 20%+ declines, spinoff Law & Order: LA rebounded big, up 24% in the 18-49 demo, with Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7) was also up, by 13%. But the network put reruns of both shows the following week, and both series returned down a week later, -21% (LOLA) and -22% SVU. Then last Wednesday, after getting hit by the debut of CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior the previous week, SVU bounced back nicely, up 14% to tie Suspect Behavior for the top spot at 10 PM. But its potential upswing was halted last night with a repeat, giving Suspect Behavior an easy win in the hour with a 2.6/8, up a tenth from last week. (Last night, NBC also aired a repeat and new Minute to Win It, 1.0/3 in 18-49 for both)

At CBS, Survivor:Redemption Island (3.3/9) was even with its all-time low fast national demo number last week. (The rating went down in the finals, making that comparison more favorable though less fair.) Facing 30 minutes of Idol vs. an hour last week, Criminal Minds (3.6/10) at 9 PM was up 10%.

ABC’s The Middle (2.3/7) was down 4%, while Better with You (1.8/5) and Modern Family (4.1/11) were flat. Like Survivor, Mr. Sunshine was even with its fast national number last week but, because it dropped in the finals, vs. that he is up 9%. Despite facing lesser original competition at 10 PM, Off the Map (1.7/5) was flat.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.