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‘Idol’ grows as finale nears

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox dominated the final Tuesday of the television season with an “American Idol” seg that featured performances of the two remaining contests on the music talent show, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

From 8 to roughly 9:03 p.m., “Idol” averaged a projected 10.5 rating/30 share in adults 18-49, easily topping the combined demo scores of the other five broadcast nets in the 8 o’clock hour. And drama “24” closed out its third season with a projected 5.9/15 in adults 18-49 and 13.0 million viewers overall, winning its hour with season-high ratings.

ABC enjoyed its strongest Tuesday since February, led by an hour of “According to Jim” and quizzer “Super Millionaire.” The season finale of “Jim” at 9:30 averaged a second-place 4.2/11 in adults 18-49 and 10.0 million viewers overall, the net’s best result in the timeslot in six months. And “Millionaire” delivered its highest ratings of the May sweep (4.0/11 in adults 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), winning the 10 o’clock hour.

It was a quiet night for both NBC, which was led by a 9 o’clock repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” (3.3/8 in adults 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), and CBS, paced by the season finale of “Navy NCIS” at 8 (second-place 2.4/7 in adults 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.2/22; ABC, 3.4/9; NBC, 2.9/8; CBS, 2.3/6; WB, 1.0/3; UPN, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.9 million; CBS, 10.9 million; ABC, 9.3 million; NBC, 7.4 million; WB, 2.4 million; UPN, 2.2 million.

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