Fox, final ‘Blue’ top Tuesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The powerhouse combo of “American Idol” and “House” has lifted Fox to another Tuesday victory in key demographics, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, and ABC’s “NYPD Blue” sailed off into the sunset a winner in the evening’s final hour.

Kicking off the night, “American Idol” (11/28 in adults 18-49, 26.8 million viewers overall) was down a bit week-to-week, roughly matching the combined 18-49 deliveries of the other five broadcast nets in the hour. And “House” followed with another winning outing at 9 (6.2/15 in adults 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall).

ABC placed third in demos from 8 to 9 with comedies “My Wife and Kids” and “George Lopez,” and at 9 with a retrospective on the 12-year run of “NYPD Blue” (4.3/10 in adults 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall). The final episode of the cop drama then won out at 10 (5.2/13 in adults 18-49, 16 million viewers overall) with its best 18-49 rating since October 2002 and its largest overall audience since November 2001.

At CBS, “NCIS” (3.3/8 in adults 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall) was a distant but solid second to “Idol” at 8, and the premiere of “The Amazing Race 7” (4.9/12 in adults 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall) also ran second from 9 to 11 – on par with the premiere of “Race 6” last November.

NBC’s comedy block of “Scrubs” (3.2/8 in adults 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and “Committed” (2.6/6 in adults 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) ran a distant fourth from 9 to 10, again getting no help from its ill-matched, fifth-place lead-in from a repeat of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (1.8/4 in adults 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall). And at 10, opposite the “NYPD Blue” finale, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (4.6/12 in adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall) fell to third place with its lowest firstrun score since May 2003.

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.6/21; CBS, 4.3/11; ABC, 4.1/10; NBC, 3.1/8; WB, 2/5; UPN, 1.3/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 21.2 million; CBS, 12.3 million; ABC, 12.2 million; NBC, 8.3 million; WB, 4.8 million; UPN, 3.1 million.

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