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Steady ‘Idol’ powers Fox

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox’s unwavering “American Idol” dominated Wednesday’s primetime action, helping the net close out the second week of the February sweep in winning fashion.

From 9 to 10, “American Idol” (11.5/27 in adults 18-49, 26.1 million viewers overall) was up slightly week-to-week, defeating the combined ABC-CBS-NBC delivery in 18-49. Fox also was a solid second the previous hour with “That ’70s Show” (4.1/11 in adults 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) and “The Simple Life” (4.0/10 in adults 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall).

ABC ran second Wednesday but each of its shows was lower-rated than previous weeks. “Lost” (6.7/18 in adults 18-49, 18.0 million viewers overall) easily won the 8 o’clock hour, performing more like its first couple of months than its peak scores of January. “Alias” then hit season lows at 9 (4.2/10 in adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) but remained second to “Idol,” and “Wife Swap” placed third at 10 (3.6/9 in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall).

CBS won at 10 with “CSI: NY” (4.9/13 in adults 18-49, 14.0 million viewers overall) and ran third from 9 to 10 with “King of Queens” (3.4/8 in adults 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) and the season premiere of “Yes, Dear” (3.1/7 in adults 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall).

NBC picked up some week-to-week but remained fourth, led by “Law & Order” at 10 (4.3/11 in adults 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall). A repeat of “Medium” at 8 (2.2/6 in adults 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) made for a more compatible lead-in for “The West Wing” (3.1/7 in adults 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), which built by more than 10% from its all-time firstrun lows of a week earlier.

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.8/20; ABC, 4.8/12; CBS, 3.4/9; NBC, 3.2/8; WB, 1.6/4; UPN, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 17.5 million; ABC, 12.2 million; CBS, 10.9 million; NBC, 10.1 million; WB, 3.7 million; UPN, 2.7 million.

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