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‘Idol,’ Grammys rock out

'Grey's,' 'House' have another great week

Fox and CBS rocked in the ratings last week, as “American Idol” and the Grammy Awards powered their respective nets to primetime victories in key categories.

And it was another great week for the docs of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s “House” — the top two scripted programs of the week.

While it remains a challenging time for half-hour laffers, CBS seems to have something going with Monday laffer “Rules of Engagement,” which got off to a good start last week and held up well in its second airing.

Overall for the Feb. 5-11 frame, according to in-home Nielsen estimates, Fox prevailed among adults 18-49 with a 4.9 rating/12 share, with CBS a close sec-ond (4.5/12) and ABC also in the hunt (3.8/10). NBC fell further back into fourth (3.0/8), while Univision (1.8/5) bested CW (1.3/3) for fifth.

CBS moved to the lead in adults 25-54 (5.5/13) and total viewers (14 million) while Fox rolled in persons 12-34 (4.4/13).

Hourlong “American Idol” segs on Tuesday (13.5/33 in 18-49, 33.36m) and Wednesday (12.0/27, 27.91m) were the week’s top telecasts, followed by “Grey’s” (10.9/25, 25.20m) and “House” (10.2/24, 24.88m).

The start of a three-episode storyline “event” certainly boosted “Grey’s” — which logged its second-best averages of the season in all broad categories — but the third-year drama also figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of a recent Nielsen methodology change to include college dormitory viewing in its national sample.

Last week, “Grey’s” drew a big 2.94 million viewers 18-24, only slightly behind “Idol” on Tuesday (2.99 million) as the No. 1 show in this category. And ex-cepting its own post-Super Bowl telecast of last year, “Grey’s” delivered the highest 18-34 rating (11.2/28) for any scripted telecast since the season-one finale of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” in May 2005.

For “House,” its numbers rep the show’s second best deliveries to date, behind only the previous week.

Also for Fox, “Prison Break” (4.1/10, 10.12m) and “Bones” (4.4/12, 12.57m) looked good as the net moved ahead of ABC and NBC for second place on the season in adults 18-49 (3.6 rating), behind CBS (4.0).

At CBS, the best news came on the Monday after the Super Bowl, when its comedy block hit season highs, led by “Two and a Half Men” (5.8/13, 17.68m) and the preem of “Rules of Engagement” (5.2/12, 14.83m). “Rules” delivered the 9:30 timeslot’s best results of the season (Daily Variety, Feb. 7).

Bow of “Survivor: Fiji” (5.7/15 in 18-49, 16.44m) won its tough timeslot, though the skein was down 19% in 18-49 vs. last February’s Panama opener. On the same night, “CSI” (6.9/16, 22.52m) ran second in its hour to “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Wednesday saw “Criminal Minds” with its best scores opposite “American Idol” to date (Daily Variety, Feb. 9), while “Ghost Whisperer” was a standout on Friday (3.5/11, 11.16m).

And Sunday’s Grammy Awards (8.3/20, 20.06m) hit a three-year high.

In addition to “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC also was on the high end with the Thursday shows surrounding it: “Ugly Betty” (4.7/12, 14.28m) drew best-since-premiere scores and “Men in Trees” (3.9/10, 10.46m) hit series bests in key demos, though it remained third in its 10 o’clock slot.

Also of note was the good return for “Lost” in its new 10 o’clock slot on Wednesday (6.4/15 in 18-49, 14.49m) and solid numbers opposite the Grammys for Sunday’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at 8 (6.2/14, 16.93m) and “Desperate Housewives” at 9 (7.0/15, 18.10m).

ABC News contributed as well, as the debut of “Primetime: The Outsiders” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 7.38m) nearly doubled the net’s week-earlier demo delivery with comedies. And Friday’s “20/20” at 10 o’clock hit one-year highs (3.1/9, 8.83m) with a report on the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

NBC didn’t have a whole lot to shout about aside from “Heroes” (6.4/14, 14.61m) and “Deal or No Deal” on Monday (5.0/12, 17.41m), though “ER” (4.8/12, 11.53m) and “Law & Order: SVU” (4.8/13, 13.45m) led their hours in demos with below-average scores.

At CW, “Gilmore Girls” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.70m) matched its season high in women 18-34 (4.1/10) despite opposing “American Idol,” and “Beauty and the Geek” (2.0/5, 4.21m) delivered best-since-preem scores in various categories.

Univision’s good week included Wednesday’s USA-Mexico soccer match (2.9/7 in 18-49, 6.13m) and the continued strength of “La Fea Mas Bella,” which ranked behind only Fox and NBC on a Monday-through-Friday basis in adults 18-34.

In cable, USA set the pace, led in 18-49 by “WWE Raw” (2.2/6, 5.84m for its two hours), “Monk” (1.2/4, 4.86m) and “Psych” (1.2/4, 3.60m).

One of the week’s largest overall cable auds (4.77 million) came for Lifetime’s preem of original movie “Montana Sky,” which did a 1.8/4 in women 25-54.

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On Monday of the current week, Eye’s “Rules of Engagement” (4.9/11 in 18-49, 13.43m) held onto most of its premiere-week average, matching the 18-49 lead-in from “Two and a Half Men” (4.9/11, 15.50m).

CBS drama “CSI: Miami” was the night’s top program overall (6.5/17, 19.90m), hitting a season high and contributing to the lowest firstrun scores to date for NBC’s “Studio 60” (2.8/7, 6.39m).

Also, Fox was strong with two hours of “24” (including a 5.1/12, 13.73m in its regular 9 p.m. slot) though “Heroes” remained the demo leader in the hour (6.3/14, 14.68m). ABC’s combo of “Wife Swap” (3.7/9, 8.31m) and “Supernanny” (4.2/10, 9.83m) hit season highs.

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