UPDATE, 2:46 PM: The final ratings numbers are in, and it turned to be a better-than-estimated night for Survivor: Caramoan. The CBS series went from a 2.5/8 and being 4% down from the previous week in fast nationals to a 2.7/9 — good for a new season high. Not unexpectedly, Fox’s American Idol also rose from fast nationals in the final numbers. The singing contest series was up two tenths, from 3.6/11 to 3.8/11. That’s even with last week’s final ratings result of 3.8/10.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:01 AM: On a night filled with repeats, Wednesday turned into a battle of two reality veterans. American Idol (3.6/11) kicked off its live Top 10 finalist performances last night without Nicki Minaj, who was stuck in LA traffic, according to Ryan Seacrest. Once the tardy judge showed up, sprinkling remarks about how contestant Paul Jolley’s performance “stimulated” her, how Angela Miller was “perfection to her on every level and Kree Harrison’s similarity to making great waffles, the two-hour show took off. Even on a night when adults 18-49 TV usage was down 9% in the 8-10 PM period, Idol managed to a bit in terms of total viewers; it dipped 5% from the final number of last week’s show in the demo but rose 3% in viewers to 13.1 million, compared to March 6’s fast nationals of 12.7 million. American Idol was the night’s top-rated program of the night in 18-49, and Fox took the top spot in the demo and in total viewers with 13.084 million watching.
On CBS’ Survivor: Caramoan (2.5/8) contestant Brandon Hantz had what can only be called a full-on meltdown that caused chaos for everyone. Needless to say, the Favorites unanimously voted Hantz out of their tribe. The reality show didn’t suffer such a harsh fate: Survivor slipped a mere 4% from last week’s show. Like last week, CBS also ran encores of Criminal Minds (1.8/5) and CSI (1.7/5) last night. ABC was all encores except for a new The Neighbors (1.4/4), which fell 18% from last week to a series low. Otherwise it was repeats of The Middle (1.3/4), Modern Family (1.8/5), Suburgatory (1.3/4) and Nashville (0.7/2).
Except for an original Whitney (1.2/4) at 8 PM which was down 8% from last week, NBC was all repeats also, with a Whitney (0.8/3) encore at 8:30 PM followed by Law & Order: SVU (1.2/3) and Chicago Fire (1.1/3).
The CW ran Arrow (0.5/2) and Supernatural (0.4/1) encores.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.