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‘Idol,’ Cher rock Tuesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox rolled to another Tuesday victory behind “American Idol” and “24” but NBC rocked with its two-hour Cher concert, which delivered the best numbers for a music special this season, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

“American Idol” (9.4/26 in adults 18-49, 19.6 million viewers overall) didn’t feel the effects of daylight savings time, virtually matching week-earlier scores. “Idol” beat the combined scores of ABC, CBS and Fox in the hour in adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. “24” (6.0/14 in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) led its hour in adults 18-49 but fell behind “Cher” at 9:30.

From 9 to 11, “Cher: The Farewell Tour” (5.9/15 in adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers overall) gave NBC its best 18-49 score in the time period since mid November. And in overall audience, it’s the net’s best showing there since October 2000. The 5.9/15 in adults 18-49 surpasses the 4.2/12 for last November’s Faith Hill spec on NBC and last month’s Celine Dion event on CBS (4.1/10).

ABC’s opening-hour comedies struggled opposite the “Idol” powerhouse, but new laffer “Lost at Home” (3.5/8 in adults 18-49, 8 million viewers overall) again performed pretty well, retaining virtually all of its lead-in from “According to Jim” (3.6/9 in adults 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and building slightly on “Jim” in adults 18-34. Both placed third for their hour.

At 10, the return of “NYPD Blue” (4.4/11 in adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) left ABC a solid second to Cher, whose performance in the hour (6.0/15 in adults 18-49) is the best for any network (excluding sports) since the conclusion of CBS mini “Living With the Dead” nearly a year ago.

CBS, with all repeats of its dramas, wasn’t even in the game.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.7/20; NBC, 4.7/12; ABC, 3.6/9; CBS, 1.9/5.

In total viewers: Fox led with 15.7 million.

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