Fox leaps to demo win

'House,' 'Idol' help net with winning perf

While its rivals are exhibiting various degrees of exhaustion down the stretch, Fox continued its late-season sprint, winning an 11th-straight week among young adults.

CBS remained solid, but the Murdoch net was the only broadcaster to improve upon its performance vs. the same frame a year ago, prevailing in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and key younger demos, according to Nielsen.

An extra helping of “House” combined with the hot “American Idol” and solid newbie “Unanimous” to give Fox a lock on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

“Idol” results show on Wednesday was the week’s top program in both adults 18-49 (11.7/28) and total viewers (29.26 million), with Tuesday’s performance seg close behind at No. 2 (11.4/31, 28.58m) — beating the other five broadcast nets combined for its hour in key demos.

A two-part “House” dominated both Tuesday behind “Idol” (8.7/22 in 18-49, 22.71m) and Wednesday in a special pre-“Idol” showing at 8 (6.4/18, 17.16m). Strong Wednesday perf may give Fox confidence to shift the hot medical mystery to lead off a night next fall.

Also, unscripted Wednesday series “Unanimous” (6.0/14 in 18-49, 13.92m) improved one week from its finale, and Monday’s “24” won its hour in key demos (5.2/12, 13.15m). Former is the season’s No. 1 new show in 18-49 and younger demos.

CBS dominated Thursday behind “CSI” (8.3/22, 26.05m), “Survivor: Exile Island” (5.9/18, 17.04m) and “Without a Trace” (5.8/16, 19.11m) and again had the week’s No. 1 comedy in “Two and a Half Men” (4.4/11. 14.31m). On Friday, “Ghost Whisperer” ended its strong rookie season (3.2/12 in 18-49, 11.06m) by placing first or second in its slot in key categories.

Net probably lost its shot at extending its winning streak in adults 25-54 to four weeks with an anemic perf Tuesday at 10 with a “Dynasty Reunion” spec (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.35m).

ABC had three top-10 shows in “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.7/24, 21.99m), “Desperate Housewives” (8.6/20, 21.33m) and “Lost” (6.4/15, 15.56m) but did little elsewhere on the sked. One exception was Monday’s “Supernanny” (4.2/10, 10.31m), which ended its season on a high.

Once-promising Thursday skein “American Inventor” is sputtering as it nears its finale (2.6/7, 6.60m).

Fourth-place NBC was paced by vet dramas “Law & Order: SVU” on Tuesday (5.3/14, 15.27m) and “ER” on Thursday (5.1/14, 11.78m) — its only skeins among the week’s top 20.

The WB edged past UPN for the week in 18-34 (1.4/4 vs. 1.3/4) as “One Tree Hill” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.06m) ended the season with one of its best 18-34 scores in a while (1.8/6).

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision placed ahead of the lame-duck weblets in both 18-49 and 18-34, powered by Sunday’s finale of “Bailando por un sueno II” (Dancing for a Dream II), which earned a 2.5/6 in 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers overall.

TNT was the easy winner among ad-supported cable nets (1.18 in 18-49) thanks to NBA playoff action. Thursday’s Game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns series became the highest-rated first-round game ever on cable (2.4/9 in 18-49, 4.97m), hitting a 15 share in men 18-34.

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