‘Idol,’ ‘House’ hot for Fox

CBS strong with 'Miami,' 'King'

Tentpole-driven Fox and consistent CBS were the ratings pacesetters in various categories during the penultimate complete week of the television season.

With two nights of “American Idol” and hot drama “House,” Fox controlled Tuesday and Wednesday and ruled the top of the program rankings in capturing its 14th consecutive week as the top net among adults 18-49.

Meanwhile, the Eye ran first or second in adults 18-49 on every night and possessed eight of the week’s top 20 programs in the demo, according to Nielsen. Net tied Fox for the 25-54 lead and won outright in total viewers.

ABC remained competitive, tying CBS for second, while NBC was again a listless fourth place.

Overall, according to Nielsen same-day averages for the May 7-13 frame, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 3.9 rating/12 share. ABC and CBS tied at 3.2/10, with NBC (2.3/7) again closer to fifth-place Univision (1.7/5) and sixth-place CW (1.3/4) than to Fox.

Every major broadcaster was down vs. the same frame a year ago, with NBC (32%) and CBS (22%) sliding the most.

For Fox, “American Idol” claimed the top two spots for the week with Wednesday’s results show (10.8/28 in 18-49, 28.20 million viewers overall) and Tuesday’s performance edition (9.3/28, 25.47m).

Airing behind “Idol” on Tuesday, “House” (8.9/23, 21.36m) ranked third and was the week’s No. 1 scripted program. It retained 96% of “Idol’s” 18-49 audience while slightly outperforming the music competition among persons 12-34.

Net was also more competitive than usual on Thursday thanks to a second hour of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” at 9 (3.0/8, 8.70m).

CBS was led by usual suspects “CSI” (5.5/15 in 18-49, 18.75m), “CSI: Miami” (5.4/14, 17.18m) and laffers “King of Queens” (4.6/11, 13.42m) and “Two and a Half Men” (4.6/12, 13.27m).

“Survivor: Fiji” wrapped its season on Sunday with the lowest finale numbers to date for the 7-year-old franchise (4.6/13, 13.63m).

Leading the way for ABC were slot-winning but below-average perfs from “Grey’s Anatomy” (7.8/21, 19.58m), “Desperate Housewives” (6.1/16, 16.13m) and “Lost” (5.0/13, 12.11m). Other timeslot winners included Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars” (5.0/14, 19.44m) and Sunday’s “Brothers & Sisters” (4.2/11, 11.61m).

The Alphabet also set the pace in key demos on Saturday with the NBA playoff contest between San Antonio and Phoenix (1.8/7, 4.91m).

Struggling NBC had little to cheer about, although “Heroes” led its Monday hour in key demos (5.1/13 in 18-49, 11.14m), while Thursday’s “The Office” (3.9/11, 7.17m), “ER” (3.8/11, 9.39m) and “My Name Is Earl” (3.0/10, 6.94m) were competitive.

Contributing to the net’s weak overall numbers were a sixth-place finish Tuesday for “Dateline” (1.4/4, 4.98m) and a fifth-place result Wednesday for “Crossing Jordan” (1.5/4, 5.34m).

CW was led by Wednesday’s “America’s Next Top Model” (2.4/8, 4.92m) and Tuesday’s “Gilmore Girls” (1.8/5, 3.99m).

* * *

On Monday of the current week, the one-hour series finale of nine-year laffer “The King of Queens” averaged a 5.2/13 in 18-49 and 13.61 million viewers overall, winning its time period in adults 25-54 (6.1/14) and surging to the slot lead in 18-49 and total viewers as well from 9:30 to 10. These repped the show’s best demo scores since November 2003.

Also for CBS, the season finales of “How I Met Your Mother” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 7.70m) and “CSI: Miami” (5.3/14, 16.63m) were on par with recent outings in bookending the night, while “Two and a Half Men” ended its season at a season low in its special 8:30 timeslot (3.6/10, 10.16m).

At ABC, “Dancing With the Stars” (5.3/15 in 18-49, 19.58m) was up week to week to again win its 8-9:30 timeslot, while “The Bachelor” hit season highs (4.0/10, 10.64m), placing a solid second in demos.

NBC fell to third among young adults in the leadoff hour with the once-potent “Deal or No Deal” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 8.84m) but picked it up at 9 with “Heroes” (5.3/13, 11.54m), which led its hour in under-50 demos.

At Fox, following a special “House” repeat (2.7/8 in 18-49, 7.23m), “24” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 10.57m) was below average in the 9 o’clock hour, running fourth in most categories.

It was another quiet evening, meanwhile, for CW, with each of its comedies settling for a 3 share in adults 18-49 and a 4 share in adults 18-34.

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