Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

A special “American Idol” results show and the first seg of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” lifted Fox to an easy victory on Thursday, a night when top dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “CSI” were in repeats.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (10.4 rating/26 share in adults 18-49, 27.1 million viewers overall) beat ABC, CBS and NBC combined among young adults, coming in slightly below its performance on the same night a year ago. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” then impressed at 9 (9.4/22 in 18-49, 23.5 million viewers overall), winning in every key category; show plays behind “Idol” at 9 again next week and then shifts to its regular 8 o’clock slot on March 15.

CBS ran second on the night, with “Survivor: Fiji” (5.0/13 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall) up vs. the previous week. A repeat of “CSI” was the top non-scripted choice at 9 (4.3/10 in 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall), and a repeat of “Shark” (3.2/9 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) prevailed at 10.

NBC’s opening-hour comedies “My Name Is Earl” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and “The Office” (3.0/7 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) were on par with the prior season average for repeats — even with the extra competition from “Idol.” From 9 to 10, original episodes of “Scrubs” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “30 Rock” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) were on the high end of their ratings range, and the night closed out with a repeat of Monday’s series premiere of “The Black Donnellys” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall).

ABC was in repeat mode with “Ugly Betty” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) and “Men in Trees” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.9/24; CBS, 4.2/11; ABC, 2.9/7; NBC, 2.8/7; Univision, 1.9/5; CW, 1.0/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 25.3 million; CBS, 14.2 million; ABC, 8.1 million; NBC, 6.2 million; Univision, 4.3 million; CW, 2.5 million.

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