'Spouses' rouses aud; 'Race' picks up pace
“Trading Spouses” turned out to be a good business move for Fox.Rushed premiere of the net’s unscripted series, designed to beat ABC’s similar fall entry “Wife Swap” to the air, handily won its timeslot in key young-adult demos. Tuesday also saw CBS skein “The Amazing Race 5″ deliver its strongest numbers yet, standing as the night’s top-rated program. For Fox, “Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy” won Tuesday’s opening hour in adults 18-49 (3.4/11), 25-54 (3.3/10) and 18-34 (3.5/13), averaging 7.48 million viewers overall. It grew nicely on the half-hour and was too much for ABC’s special episode of “Extreme Makeover” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.37m), itself a late sked move aimed at blunting “Spouses.” The Fox entry put up the best 18-49 score for any of this summer’s new unscripted programs and figures to have an easier time beginning next week if ABC reverts to comedies in Tuesday’s 8 o’clock hour. To reach auds that may have missed the first “Spouses” seg, Fox will rebroadcast it Monday night at 8 in place of drama “North Shore.” Elsewhere, CBS must be pleased with the growth of “Amazing Race,” which has blossomed into a hit in its first edition since its September Emmy win for reality program. “Race 5″ (4.6/13 in adults 18-49, 11.11 million viewers overall) was Tuesday’s top show in most categories, easily beating NBC’s second-place “Law & Order: SVU” repeat at 10 (3.5/9 in 18-49, 9.95m) and delivering its strongest numbers in three tries. CBS hasn’t had a stronger 18-49 showing in Tuesday’s 10 o’clock hour since October 2002 (“Judging Amy”). “Race” built on its lead-in from “Big Brother 5″ (3.6/10 in 18-49, 9.15m), which won at 9 over NBC’s “Last Comic Standing 2″ (a season-low 3.4/10 in 18-49, 7.10m). CBS took the night in key demos as well as total viewers.