‘Idol’ holds high note

'NCIS' builds in 18-49 demo

Nobody has touched Fox on Tuesday since “American Idol” bowed in mid-January, but CBS has put up the best fight.

The season finales of military-themed dramas “NCIS” and “The Unit” scored the Eye a solid second-place finish this week, while Fox rolled with “Idol” and “House.” NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” closed its season a winner in the 10 o’clock hour.

According to Nielsen, the third-season finale of “NCIS” averaged a 3.8 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 16.49 million viewers overall, making it the clear-cut No. 2 in the 8 o’clock hour behind “American Idol” (11.0/30, 28.33m). The Mark Harmon starrer was up 9% in 18-49 compared with its season finale of a year ago.

And midseason success “The Unit” (4.2/10, 14.04m) once again built in demo rating on its lead-in to finish in the runner-up position to “House” (9.0/22, 22.38m). A second firstrun “Unit” remained strong at 10 (4.3/11, 13.08m), placing a competitive second in demos to NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (5.2/13, 12.97m) and winning the hour in total viewers.

“Unit” will end the season as TV’s No. 1 new drama in adults 25-54 and total viewers, while “House,” which closes its second season next week, should finish as the No. 4 drama on television in 18-49 — behind only “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “CSI.”

Elsewhere on the night, NBC’s “Scrubs” had a nice finish to its season with the second of two episodes at 9:30 (3.4/8 in 18-49, 6.57); it was up year-to-year, placing third in 18-49 and second in 18-34 (3.5/9). But it was a sluggish season sendoff for ABC’s “Boston Legal” (2.6/6, 9.29m), which matched a firstrun low with its two-hour finale.

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