Fox’s first-place finish in Wednesday’s primetime ratings was hardly unexpected -- it’s the network’s first-place start that was notable.
Averaging a 6.8 rating/18 share in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen Media Research, Fox took an early lead in the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. hour over CBS stalwart Survivor -- not with veteran heavyweight American Idol, but with rookie reality series Moment of Truth.
Without its usual Idol lead-in, Truth averaged a 4.1/12 in the demo, while Survivor -- moved from its Thursday berth due to the NCAA tournament -- managed a 3.6/10.
But the combination of Survivor, Big Brother at 9 p.m. and a CSI: NY repeat at 10 p.m. helped CBS to pull ahead of ABC and NBC to finish second for the night, with a 2.6/7 average in the demo.
While Idol averaged a 9.6/24 in the demo in the 9 p.m.-10 p.m. slot, ABC’s Supernanny edged out Big Brother, averaging a 2.6/6 to Big Brother’s 2.4/6.
ABC finished third with a 2.1/6 in the demo with two hours of reality -- Wife Swap at 8 p.m. and Supernanny at 9 p.m. -- and a new episode of Men in Trees at 10 p.m.
NBC finished fourth with three hours from the Law & Order franchise. The network lost the 8 p.m. hour with a Criminal Intent repeat that averaged only a 1.4/4 in the demo -- behind America’s Next Top Model on The CW, which averaged a 1.8/5. But it managed to win the 10 p.m. hour thanks to a new episode of the original L&O, which earned a 3.0/8 in the demo.