Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Another two-hour edition of “American Idol” carried Fox to a dominant ratings victory on Tuesday, while CBS was a distant but respectable runner-up with original episodes of dramas “NCIS” and “The Unit.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (11.6 rating/30 share in adults 18-49, 29.4 million viewers overall) was down by more than 10% across the board vs. the same night a year ago (when there was no daylight-saving time) but still beat the other four English-language broadcasters combined from 8 to 10 p.m. by 9 shares in adults 18-49. “Idol” peaked in the 9:30 half-hour with a 12.7/30 in the demo and more than 32 million viewers overall.

At CBS, “NCIS” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 15.5 million viewers overall) and “The Unit” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall) ran second in their timeslots opposite “Idol,” while a special repeat of “CSI” captured the 10 o’clock hour (2.9/8 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall).

NBC was led by a repeat “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” at 10 o’clock (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), ABC by an original “Boston Legal” in the same hour (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall).

CW’s “Pussycat Dolls” reality show was up week to week at 9 o’clock (1.3/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), running second for its hour in women 18-34 (2.5/6).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 11.6/30; CBS, 3.3/9; NBC, 2.1/5; ABC, 1.9/5; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 29.4 million; CBS, 12.6 million; NBC, 6.6 million; ABC, 6.5 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 2.6 million.

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