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Fox’s ‘Idol’ doesn’t miss a beat

Reality skein way ahead of pack

Fox’s “American Idol” continued its amazing start to the season Tuesday night, when the music talent show virtually matched its record-setting opener of a week earlier.

It was pretty much “American Idol” and then everything else Tuesday, with another two-hour auditions seg of “Idol” averaging a huge 15.1 rating/35 share in adults 18-49 and 34.96 million viewers overall, Nielsen said — off just 2% from last week’s fifth-season preem and a 24% rise over the same night a year ago.

This makes it the skein’s third highest-rated episode to date, behind only last week’s premiere and the 2003 “Idol 2” finale.

“Idol” grew sharply with each half-hour, opening with a 31 share in 18-49 and finishing at 9:30 with a 37 share.

It delivered an 18-49 audience more than 3½ times greater than Tuesday’s next closest show, CBS drama “NCIS” (4.0/10). And in total viewers, its 35 million was more than double “NCIS” (16.97 million). Still, the Eye crime drama also is up vs. the opening weeks of “Idol” a year ago.

In the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s once-promising “Commander in Chief” again fell to a series low (2.3/5 in 18-49, 10.38m) and still is getting no lead-in support.

ABC fared better at 10 with “Boston Legal” (season-high 3.7/9 in 18-49, 12.87m), which beat a repeat of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (3.6/9 in 18-49, 9.77m). CBS drama “Love Monkey” placed third (3.1/8 in 18-49, 7.68m), down 11% from last week’s series premiere, according to Nielsen.

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