Spec averages 9.91 mil viewers, 'Shoot' wins night

Fox’s “Battle of the Child Geniuses” looked pretty smart in the ratings Tuesday, delivering the net’s best grades on the night in three months.

The two-hour spec settled for third place on the night in adults 18-49 but surged at 9:30 to win its final half-hour in total viewers, men 18-49, men 18-34 and teens. From 8-10, it averaged 9.91 million viewers and a 4.2/12 in young adults, according to Nielsen.

It’s Fox’s best showing on a Tuesday since the now-infamous “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” (16.0 million, 7.4/18 in A18-49).

The network has vowed to steer clear of the controversial reality specs that had been a staple of its sweeps lineups in recent years. And while Tuesday’s kinder, gentler fare performed well, it’s a far cry from the Nielsens that “Multi-Millionaire” commanded on Feb. 15.

Fox has several more reality specs in its sweeps arsenal, wrapping with the two-hour “Opening the Tombs of the Golden Mummies” on May 23.

ABC won its 19th straight Tuesday in total viewers and 18th in the last 19 in adults 18-49, although “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” slipped to the smallest aud for one of its regularly skedded series segs (23.04 million) and its second-lowest adults 18-49 rating (7.0/22).

CBS placed second in total viewers, with “Judging Amy” (14.54 million) topping “NYPD Blue” (14.12) for the first time since Feb. 8. “Amy” also legislated its best adults 18-49 rating (4.3/12) since Feb. 29.

NBC finished second to ABC in adults 18-49 (4.8/13 vs. 6.0/17), led by “Will & Grace” (6.4/17). “Will” topped a firstrun “Dharma & Greg” (6.2/17) for the first time since Nov. 3.

And at 9:30, an A&E “Biography” spoof lifted NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” (5.7/15) to a demo victory over Fox’s “Child Geniuses” (5.3/14). ABC’s “Sports Night” returned to the sked and placed third in young adults (4.5/12).

The WB’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (2.1) logged its best adults 18-49 rating since Feb. 22, while spinoff “Angel” (2.2) winged to its best mark since Feb. 8.

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