Last night's broadcast of Fox's American Idol 6 auditions from Seattle, WA saw some of the worst contestants ever to try out for the reality competition, but it still delivered the smash-hit reality show's highest rated Wednesday premiere numbers ever among total viewers and the Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 demographics.

Results released today by Nielsen's preliminary Fast National ratings show last night's episode was down slightly in its number of total viewers, 36.9 million, when compared to Tuesday night's 37.3 million.  But it was still Fox's second highest-rated night ever in entertainment programming in total viewers. It was also the second-highest rated primetime telecast of the 2006/2007 season on any network among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, total viewers and Teens.  So what ratings juggernaut did it finish second to?  Tuesday night's premiere broadcast of Idol.

The episode scored a 15.4/36 rating/share among Adults 18-49, a 14.2/37 rating/share among Adults 18-34 and a 13.2/36 rating/share among Teens.  Compared to last year's Wednesday premiere of Idol 5 on January 18, last night's episode of Idol 6 was up 18% among Adults 18-49, 15% among Adults 18-34, 9% among Teens and 17% in total viewers (36.9 million vs. 31.6 million). 

Similar to Tuesday night's premiere, last night's two-hour Idol also outperformed the total programming of the four other network broadcasters in the 8PM to 10PM ET/PT time period, outdelivering CBS, ABC, NBC and The CW's combined ratings by 79% among Adults 18-49 (a 15.4/36 rating/share vs. a combined 8.6/20 rating/share), 109% among Adults 18-34 (14.2/37 vs. 6.8/18) and 164% among Teens (13.2/36 vs. 5/14), as well as by 36% in combined viewership (36.9 million vs. 27.2 million). 

The two-night four hour premiere format has become an Idol fixture in recent years and continues to show nearly mind-blowing growth.  Compared to last year with Idol 5, this week's sixth season Tuesday/Wednesday premiere was up 8% among Adults 18-49, 4% among Adults 18-34, 3% among Teens and 9% among total viewers (37.2 million vs. 34.2 million).