‘Idol’ hands Fox a victory

Morning Ratings Flash

Wednesday night’s “American Idol” finale gave Fox some major Nielsen bobo.

About 31.4 million viewers tuned in to see Fantasia Barrino claim the “Idol” title, according to prelim Nielsen data. Seg scored a 13.2/34 among adults 18-49, helping Fox to its third highest-rated night ever (excluding sports.)

While both numbers were down noticably from year-ago figures, they were strong enough to lift Fox’s overall 2003-04 season average to a 4.1/11 in adults 18-49. That’s just one-tenth of a ratings point behind NBC, giving Fox its closest-ever competitive finish for a seasonal tally.

Final data will be released later this afternoon.

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