Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

There’s no stopping Fox on Tuesdays this spring, as “American Idol” and the hot “House” again obliterated all competition in the night’s opening two hours.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (9.7 rating/28 share in adults 18-49, 25.8 million viewers overall) matched the combined 18-49 deliveries in the 8 o’clock hour of ABC, CBS, NBC, CW and Univision. “House” followed with more big numbers (8.9/22 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall), matching the combined demo scores of ABC, CBS and NBC. The medical mystery series also built slightly on its “Idol” lead-in among adults 18-34 rating (8.4 vs. 8.2).

The other major nets were all tightly bunched, with CBS running second in most categories at 8 with “NCIS” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) and third at 9 with “The Unit” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall).

ABC started slowly with an original episode of “George Lopez” at 8:30 (1.7/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) before placing second in the 9 o’clock hour with the “Dancing With the Stars” results show (4.0/10 in 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall). At 10, “Boston Legal” came in second (2.5/7 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall).

NBC finished in sixth place among young adults in the opening hour with “Dateline” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) and recovered some at 9 with “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (fourth-place 2.2/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall). “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” put the net in the winner’s circle at 10 (4.0/11 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall).

CW’s “Gilmore Girls” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) was up slightly week to week and finished second in its hour among adults 18-34 (2.1/7), but “Veronica Mars” didn’t do much in its return to the sked at 9 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.3/24; CBS, 2.8/7; ABC, 2.7/7; NBC, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.7/5; CW, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: Fox, 23.5 million; CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 10.2 million; NBC, 8.0 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 3.2 million.

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