Primetime Ratings: 'Idol' Holds Steady, Clobbers Competition

Singing competition focusing on "aspirational" stories to draw female viewers
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American Idol continued to dominate primetime Wednesday night on its second night of two-hour audition shows, averaging an 11.6/29 in the 18-49 demo. That was essentially even with the 11.6/28 in its season debut Tuesday night. That is down from the 12.6/30 Idol scored with its second night last season, but so is viewing in general.

The bigger and better news for Fox is that last year, Idol declined by more than 3 rating points from its first to second night of the season (from a 15.7/36 to that 12.6/30).

Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori had been looking to stem that tied with creative tweaks. True to his word, the show continued to focus on the "aspirational" stories

he told B&C

he hoped would score with female viewers. Tuesday's show ended with the audition of a visually impaired singer, while

Wednesday's was capped by the audition of a woman who had lost her home in a tornado--the audition city was in Kansas, and the Oz theme was evident in a number of renditions of Over the Rainbow. The show also included the story of a guy whose wife had died four weeks before the audition and how he had to sing through his grief.

And Idol was even more dominant over the competition Wednesday than it had been Tuesday, with ABC, CBS, NBC andCW only able to muster a collective 6.8 rating among them, compared to the 9.9 they put up against Idol's 11.6 the night before.