American Idol delivered another powerhouse win in the ratings Wednesday night, as nearly all its competition suffered ratings declines.
FOX won the night overall as Idol's two-hour broadcast drew 23.5 million viewers, handily defeating all competitors among adults 18-to-49.
Placing a distant second was CBS, whose The New Adventures of Old Christine (6 million viewers) and Gary Unmarried (6 million viewers) were down 26 percent and 17 percent in the demo, respectively. Criminal Minds (13.2 million) fell slightly, but CSI: NY (12.5 million viewers) was down 9 percent in the demo, most likely due to new competition from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit at 10/9c.
Two hours of SVU, with special guest stars Kathy Griffin and Mischa Barton averaged 8.5 million viewers, helping to lift NBC to third place overall for the second night in a row. Mercy (6 million viewers) was down 11 percent in the demo going head-to-head against Idol.
ABC's comedies also took a tumble. Leading out of a Modern Family repeat, The Middle pulled in 6 million viewers, and slid 28 percent in the demo from its last original episode. New episodes of Modern Family (8.8 million viewers) and Cougar Town (5.4 million viewers) declined 15 and 11 percent in the demo, respectively. Oprah's Oscar special pulled in only 4.4 million viewers, and was 19 percent off Ugly Betty's average mark in that timeslot.