american idol finale rating TV ratings: 'American Idol' finale up over 2010, dominates WednesdayUPDATED with final FOX averages, figuring in the seven-minute overrun for the “Idol” finale.

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The finale of “American Idol” improved significantly on its ratings from last year, closing out the 2010-11 season with a big win for FOX. ABC was up a little over last week’s performance with its comedy finales, while the CBS and NBC were mostly in repeats for the night.

FOX averaged 29.3 million viewers and a 15.7 rating/24 share in households for the evening, up from 24.2 million for the 2010 “Idol” finale’s fast national numbers.The show also ran seven minutes long, so its numbers will likely go up in the final nationals. CBS (6.7 million, 4.6/7) was the best of the rest, narrowly beating ABC (6.3 million, 4.1/6). NBC came in fourth with 4.2 million viewers and a 2.8/4. The CW (1.05 million, 0.7/1) brought up the rear.

FOX’s adults 18-49 average also took a jump from the 2010 “Idol” finale — the net scored an 9.2 Wednesday compared to 8.2 last year. ABC, 2.3, finished second. CBS took third with a 1.7, followed by NBC, 1.2, and The CW, 0.4.

]]>8 p.m. FOX: “American Idol” season finale (25.4 million viewers, 14.3/23 households)
ABC: “The Middle” season finale (7.4 million, 4.5/6)/”Modern Family” rerun (6.05 million, 3.7/6)
CBS: “The Big Bang Theory” reruns – two episodes (6 million, 4.1/7)
NBC: “Minute to Win It” rerun (3.4 million, 2.3/4)
The CW: “America’s Next Top Model” rerun (1.1 million, 0.8/1) 18-49 leader: “American Idol” (7.9) 9 p.m. FOX: “American Idol” season finale (30.95 million, 17.2/25)
ABC: “Modern Family” season finale (10.2 million, 6.2/10)/”Cougar Town” season finale (5.3 million, 3.4/5)
CBS: “Criminal Minds” rerun (6.45 million, 4.5/7)
NBC: “Minute to Win It” rerun (3.6 million, 2.2/3)
The CW: “America’s Next Top Model” rerun (1 million, 0.7/1) 18-49 leader: “American Idol” (9.9) 10 p.m. CBS: “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” finale (7.5 million, 5.2/8)
NBC: “Law & Order: LA” (5.6 million, 3.8/6)
ABC: “Cougar Town” season finale (4.9 million, 3.1/5)/”Happy Endings” season finale (4.1 million, 2.6/4) 18-49 leader: “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (2.0) Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company. More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable