Fox rules over Tuesday night

Fox crushed the competition once again on Tuesday night with a two-hour episode of “American Idol,” while NBC was a distant runner-up thanks to improved numbers for “The Biggest Loser.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a huge 11.2 rating/27 share in adults 18-49 and 28.8 million viewers overall, down about 5% vs. the same night a year ago. From 8 to 10 p.m., Fox beat its combined ABC-CBS-NBC-CW competition by 8 shares in 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34.

NBC put up the best fight among the also-rans as “Biggest Loser” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) was up more than 10% week to week and matched its best delivery since “Idol” bowed last month. The Peacock was also a solid No. 1 at 10 o’clock with a repeat of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), which beat up on its firstrun drama competition to post its highest rating for a rebroadcast since October 2006.

One of the shows “SVU” beat was CBS sophomore drama “Jericho” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which declined more than 20% from its OK week-earlier season premiere. It didn’t get a lot of help from its lead-in, as “Big Brother” (1.9/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) fell to what looks to be the franchise’s lowest-rated wweknight episode to date. Kicking off the night, a repeat “NCIS” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall) was the net’s top performer.

ABC continues to struggle on the night, settling for a 1.2/3 in 18-49 and 4.6 million viewers overall with an hour of “Just for Laughs” in the opening hour, and not doing much better from 9 to 10 p.m. with original episodes of comedies “According to Jim” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Carpoolers” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). At 10 p.m., a new hour of “Boston Legal” earned a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall.

CW again ran third in various younger demos from 9 to 10 p.m. with “One Tree Hill” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall). From 8 to 10, “Hill” and a repeat of “Reaper” delivered a higher 18-34 average (1.3/3) than either ABC or CBS.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 11.2/27; NBC, 3.3/8; CBS, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.6/4; ABC, 1.5/4; CW, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 28.8 million; NBC, 8.5 million; CBS, 7.4 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 2.4 million.

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