Cooler ‘Idol’ still rolls

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

“American Idol” demolished the competition once again on Tuesday, but with what’s likely its lowest Tuesday numbers of the season. It and “House” carried Fox to another easy ratings victory on the night.

In the night’s opening hour, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (9.6 rating/27 share in adults 18-49, 25.7 million viewers overall) matched the combined 18-49 deliveries of the next five highest-rated nets (CBS, Univision, CW, ABC and NBC). Although “Idol” figures to come in down between 13% and 15% vs. the same night a year ago, no other net was really able to take advantage of the decline: Vet dramas “NCIS” on CBS (3.1/9 in 18-49, 14.1 million viewers overall) and “Gilmore Girls” on CW (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) were down as well, while ABC’s hour of “George Lopez” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) was up slightly vs. the net’s comedies on the same night last year, and NBC’s sixth-place “Dateline” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) was in line with the Peacock’s delivery a year ago with comedy.

Fox drama “House” rolled as usual at 9 o’clock (8.5/21 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall) but in a rarity for the hot series, it was also down vs. a year ago. ABC remained a solid second with the “Dancing With the Stars” results show (4.2/10 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall), followed by CBS’ “The Unit” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall). Looking good in the hour was CW’s finale of “Pussycat Dolls Present: Search for the Next Doll” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), whose 3.1 rating in women 18-34 was its best since its premiere.

In the quiet 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s original episode of “Boston Legal” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) was on par in demos with CBS’ special repeat of “Cold Case” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and NBC’s encore of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.1/24; CBS, 2.8/8; ABC, 2.7/7; Univision, 1.8/5; NBC and CW, tied at 1.7/4.

In total viewers: Fox, 23.5 million; CBS, 10.7 million; ABC, 10.4 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Univision, 4.1 million; CW, 3.6 million.

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