Finale Ratings: Sunshine Up, Off the Map Down

With the American Idol performance show now ending at 9:30 pm, the season finale of ABC’s Mr. Sunshine enjoyed an 11th-hour burst in total audience (4.63 million viewers) and in the demos (to a 1.6 rating), gaining 15 percent in both measures. It also guest-starred Lizzy Caplan – win-win!

Similarly, Criminal Minds improved week-to-week to 13.9 mil/3.6, thanks to a surge during its Idol-free back half.

Elsewhere this Wednesday:

Survivor: Redemption Island Recap: Most Entertaining Tribal Council Ever?

8/7c | Idol‘s rock-n-roll night averaged 22.53 million viewers across its 90-minute run (up 8 percent year-to-year), and a 7.1 rating. Survivor bounced back from its all-time low demo rating to score a 3.1, while delivering 10.5 million total viewers. Top Model dropped under 2 million viewers and mustered a mere 0.9 rating.

American Idol Recap: Rock and Role-Playing

9/8c | Fox’s Breaking In debuted to 9.88 million viewers and a 3.5 rating, enjoying the best retention of any aprés-Idol comedy in more than four years (since ‘Til Death, 4/07). It also gave Fox its best live-action comedy numbers in more than three years. Over on The CW, Shedding for the Wedding dropped, again, to 877,000 viewers and a barely-0.4 rating.

Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Axed? What’s on the Bubble?

10/9c | Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior led in total viewers (with 9 mil), while Law & Order: SVU topped the demos (with a 2.4 rating). The Off the Map season finale failed to capitalize on Mr. Sunshine‘s own gains, instead dipping to under 4 million viewers with a 1.3 rating. Should we call it?

Save the Dates! ABC Schedules 16 May Finales

Reminder: ABC’s Cougar Town returns with a special airing on Monday, April 18, at 9:30pm, before reclaiming its usual Wednesdays time slot on April 20. (The new sitcom Happy Endings premieres next Wednesday at 9:30, before settling into its Wednesdays-at-10 slot.)

What were you watching Wednesday?