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‘House’ finale sets high

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

On the final Tuesday of the season, Fox drama “House” established series highs behind a boffo performance by this spring’s concluding performance edition of “American Idol.” Fox crushed the competition, more than tripling the nightly average of runner-up CBS.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “House” (10.3 rating/25 share in adults 18-49, 25.7 million viewers overall) topped its prior series-best score set last month by about 5%. Show retained a best-ever 87% of its 18-49 lead-in from “American Idol” (11.8/33 in 18-49, 30.6 million viewers overall).

Compared to the same night a year ago, “Idol” was up slightly while “House” grew by a big 33%.

CBS, with its coverage of the 41st annual “Academy of Country Music Awards,” fared best among the nets left in Fox’s wake on Tuesday (3.5/9 in 18-49, 12 million viewers overall), although the kudocast was down slightly year to year. Show peaked in the 10 o’clock half-hour, during which Rascal Flatts and Kelly Clarkson performed, with about 14.5 million viewers.

ABC didn’t do much with its three-hour original pic “Stephen King’s Desperation” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), but at least it beat out NBC’s weak conclusion of two-part movie “10.5: Apocalypse” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 11.0/29; CBS, 3.5/9; ABC, 2.5/7; NBC, 2.0/5; WB, 0.7/2; UPN, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 28.2 million; CBS, 12.0 million; ABC, 7.5 million; NBC, 6.0 million; WB, 1.6 million; UPN, 1.6 million.

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