By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - NBC's new comedy 'Bent' got off to a discouraging start Wednesday night, while Fox's "American Idol," while down slightly from last week, still pushed the network to an overall win for the night, according to preliminary numbers.
Fox, which ran "American Idol" throughout its primetime roster, took an easy win in the advertiser-cherished 18-49 demographic and total viewership, averaging a 4.9 rating/19 share and 16.6 million.
CBS was a distant second in the demo and total viewership with an average 2.8/8 and 11.1 million. "Survivor" at 8 p.m. took a 10 percent dip in the demo from last week, receiving a 2.7/8 with 10.2 million viewers. "Criminal Minds" the following hour was up 14 percent in the demo from last week with a 3.2/8, with 11.9 million total viewers. "CSI" at 10 was down 11 percent in the demo, receiving a 2.5/7 with 11.2 million total viewers.
ABC, which ran mostly repeats throughout the night, came in third in the demo and total viewers with an average 1.5/4 and 4.9 million. Its sole original programming for the night, "Happy Endings" at 9:30, was down 25 percent in the demo from last week with a 1.8/5, and 4.1 million total viewers.
NBC, in fourth place in the demo and total viewers with an average 1.0/3 and 3.1 million, ran "Whitney" at 8, which was up 14 percent from last week's series low with a 1.6/5 in the demo and 4.2 million total viewers. "Are You There, Chelsea?" at 8:30 enjoyed a 27 percent bump from its own series low last week, taking a 1.4/4 in the demo with 3.5 million total viewers.
The premiere of "Bent" at 9 posted a 1.0/3 in the demo -- the network's lowest comedy in-season premiere ever, and down 9 percent from last year's premiere of "The Paul Reiser Show," which died a quick death. The "Bent" premiere drew 2.8 million viewers. The show's time-period premiere at 9:30 fared even worse, posting a 0.9/2 in the demo and 2.4 million total viewers. The network's night closed out at 10 with "Rock Center With Brian Williams" at 10, which was up 17 percent in the demo from last week with a 0.7/2, and 3 million total viewers.
(Editing by Chris Michaud)