Reality hits demolish competition

“American Idol” and a strong return by “The Moment of Truth” carried Fox to an easy victory in key demos Wednesday night, with no program on a competing network even coming close.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Moment of Truth” (6.2 rating/16 share in adults 18-49, 15.0 million viewers overall) dominated the 9 o’clock hour, more than doubling the demo deliveries of ABC’s “Supernanny” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) and CBS’ repeat of “Criminal Minds” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall).

This was a strong performance by “Moment,” which hadn’t aired the previous two Wednesdays, and which shifts to the tougher leadoff hour of 8 o’clock beginning next week.

“American Idol,” meanwhile, continued to obliterate the competition at 8 o’clock, as its night of female singers averaged a 10.2 rating/27 share in adults 18-49 and 28.0 million viewers overall. It beat by 8 shares in adults 18-49 the combined performances of CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), ABC’s “Wife Swap” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall). NBC tumbled to sixth place in the hour by going with a repeat of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall).

By 10 o’clock, though, NBC moved to the lead with “Law & Order” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), defeating a repeat of “CSI: NY” on CBS (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and ABC’s struggling firstrun “Men in Trees” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall).

Prelim results weren’t available for Bravo’s “Project Runway,” but it could finish second to “Law” among adults 18-49 and should win the 10 o’clock hour among adults 18-34.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.2/21; NBC, 2.2/6; CBS, 2.1/6; ABC, 2.1/5; Univision, 1.7/4; CW, 1.4/4.

In total viewers: Fox, 21.5 million; NBC, 8.5 million; CBS, 7.8 million; ABC, 6.0 million; Univision, 3.8 million; CW, 2.8 million.

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