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Alphabet auds out of ‘Justice’

ABC drama cops more viewers than 'Blue'

ABC’s off to a pretty good start with cop drama “Blind Justice,” which preemed to sturdy numbers Tuesday in the former “NYPD Blue” slot.

Bowing one week after his groundbreaking “Blue” left the air, Steven Bochco’s “Blind Justice” ran second to NBC’s tough “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” but improved nicely upon “Blue’s” average this season.

As with all new shows, the best indicator of long-term success lies in how it fares in the several weeks after its premiere. “Justice” will get a chance to establish itself opposite some “SVU” repeats prior to the May sweep.

“Justice,” starring Ron Eldard and from Paramount Network Television and Bochco Prods., averaged a 4.5 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 12.36 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen — topping all but two episodes of “NYPD Blue” to air in the 10 o’clock slot over the last two years.

It placed ahead of CBS’ “Judging Amy” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.66m) but behind NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (5.8/15 in 18-49, 14.73m), which hit a seven-week high.

In a good sign, “Justice” was flat or grew in key categories in its second half-hour. Also, “Justice’s” bow produced a younger aud than “Blue” in its final year, growing by 32% over “Blue’s” average in 18-49 (4.5 vs. 3.4) and by 61% in adults 18-34 (2.9 vs. 1.8).

Fox’s “American Idol” (11.7/29 in 18-49, 27.66m) dominated at 8 — up vs. the same night a year ago and again outperforming the other five broadcast nets combined. Rookie drama “House” followed at 9 with series highs (6.6/16 in 18-49, 16.14m), airing a repeat of an episode from the fall, when fewer people were hooked on the show.

CBS was a competitive second in the 9 o’clock hour with “Amazing Race 7” (4.8/12 in 18-49, 11.69m), topping ABC’s hour of firstrun “According to Jim” (third-place 4.1/10 in adults 18-49, 10.26m).

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