The second week of the third season of FOX's American Idol has now passed, and, in what can only be considered bad news for every other broadcast network, it's starting to as though, unlike last season, the program might be able to perform at the incredibly high ratings level of its premiere week all season.

According to preliminary national Nielsen ratings information, Wednesday's 8-9 PM ET/PT fifth episode broadcast continued to crush all other programming, drawing 28.3 million overall viewers and a 11.9/31 in the all-important Adults 18-49 demographic.

Following last week's three-night premiere schedule, Tuesday's 8-9 PM ET/PT fourth episode did even better -- setting all-time demographic ratings highs for a regular Idol episode and drawing more total viewers than the rest of Big Four networks combined.

According to Reuters, Tuesday's American Idol episode easily ranked as the night's most watched show, with 29.6 million overall viewers. Additionally, among viewers aged 18 to 49, "Idol" drew a 13.0 rating, up about 2 percent from last week's Tuesday night episode and more than twice the rating of the next-highest show in that demographic for the night.

In terms of both total viewers and Adults 18-49, Tuesday's ratings performance was the best performance for American Idol ever, excluding last season's season finale of the show's second edition in May 2003. Additionally, the episode was also the highest-rated non-sports telecast for any show on any network this season in the Adults 18-49 demographic -- breaking the record hat had previously been held by last Monday's Idol season debut and a recent Friends episode.