Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox drama “24” returned from a monthlong hiatus with some of its best numbers of the season Tuesday, teaming with another powerful “American Idol” to give the net a nightly victory in key demographics. NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” dominated the 10 o’clock hour.

From 8 to 9, “American Idol” (10.7/29 in adults 18-49, 25.7 million viewers overall) crushed its rivals and was again up by more than 10% compared to the same night a year ago. Leadout drama “24” (4.9/13 in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) was on the high end of its ratings range this season, although it remains down from last year.

Over at NBC, “Law & Order: SVU” (6.0/16 in adults 18-49, 15.6 million viewers overall) matched its second highest demo score of the season, topping the combined scores at 10 of ABC’s firstrun “NYPD Blue” (3.4/9 in adults 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and CBS’ repeat “Judging Amy” (1.9/5 in adults 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall). The Peacock also received solid second-place demo results in the 9 o’clock hour from “Frasier” (4.1/10 in adults 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall) and “Scrubs” (4.1/11 in adults 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall).

ABC was led by 9 o’clock’s “According to Jim” (4.0/10 in adults 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), which was just a tick behind “Frasier” in 18-49, and by 9:30 laffer “It’s All Relative” (3.5/9 in adults 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), which is airing in place of “Less Than Perfect” for a few weeks and performed similarly to that second-year comedy.

At CBS, a repeat of “Navy NCIS” led the way (2.4/7 in adults 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), and an original “Century City” recorded a 2.1/5 in adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.8/20; NBC, 4.0/11; ABC, 3.2/8; CBS, 2.2/6; UPN, 1.0/3, WB, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.7 million; NBC, 10.6 million; ABC, 8.6 million; CBS, 8.4 million; UPN, 2.6 million; WB, 2.5 million.

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