'Idol' tops competition yet again

Another extended “American Idol” performance episode proved way too much for the competition again on Tuesday, as Fox’s nightly average more than topped the combined demo deliveries of ABC, CBS and NBC.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the 90-minute edition of “American Idol” averaged a big 9.6 rating/24 share in adults 18-49 and 24.4 million viewers overall from 8 to 9:30 p.m., more than tripling the demo score of any competing program in the timeslot. A special original episode of “Til Death” followed at 9:30 (4.6/11 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall), with the second-year laffer winning among young adults with its best scores in nearly a year.

ABC started the night with a “Dancing With the Stars” recap (2.1/5 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), and then shot up to second place at 9 p.m. with the “Dancing With the Stars” results show (projected 3.9/9 in 18-49, 17.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.). Closing out the night, the net remained on top with the final installment of limited-run newsmag series “Primetime: What Would You Do” (projected 3.1/8 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall), which achieved its highest scores.

NBC had a solid night as “The Biggest Loser” remained competitive from 8 to 10 p.m. despite added reality competition, averaging a 3.1/8 in 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers overall — and jumping to a 3.9/10 in the demo at 9:30 when “American Idol” left the air.

At CBS, following an “NCIS” repeat, “Big Brother” (2.3/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was up week to week, but the series finale of “Jericho” showed no week-to-week growth (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall).

CW, meanwhile, continues to generate small numbers for “Beauty and the Geek” at 8 o’clock (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.3/21; ABC, 3.0/8; NBC, 2.9/8; CBS, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.8/5; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 21.0 million; ABC, 12.7 million; NBC, 8.1 million; CBS, 7.1 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 1.6 million.

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