Nielsen delay yields another 'Idol' victory

Fox and CBS continue to rack up primetime ratings victories as the season nears a close, with the Murdoch web prevailing among young adults for the 13th straight time and the Eye taking total viewers for a ninth straight sesh.

In ratings for last week issued late Wednesday — roughly 30 hours later than usual due to lengthy Nielsen “server processing issues” — Fox prevailed in key demos behind “American Idol” and “House.”

“Idol” was a bit on the low side, but everything is at this time of year. The skein’s performance hour on Tuesday (8.1 rating/23 share in adults 18-49, 23.26 million viewers overall) and results show Wednesday (7.7/19, 22.37m) were still miles ahead of anything else in primetime.

Overall, according to Nielsen, Fox led for the week of April 27-May 3 with a 3.2 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (2.7/8), ABC (2.5/7), NBC (2.1/6), Univision (1.5/4), NBA playoffs-boosted TNT (1.4/4) and USA (1.0/3).

Fox held a slimmer advantage in adults 25-54 (3.7/10 to 3.6/9 for CBS). And in total viewers, the Eye’s 11.1 million was more than 2 million ahead of runner-up Fox (8.9 million).

In addition to “American Idol,” Fox also cracked the top 10 with “House” on Monday (4.6/13 in 18-49, 11.69m) and “Idol” lead-out “Fringe” on Tuesday (4.0/10, 9.62m).

Not getting a bump, though, was Wednesday “Idol” lead-in “Lie to Me” (2.3/7, 7.75m), which was in line with its recent perfs despite having the advantage of facing no scripted broadcast competition (opposite President Obama’s press conference).

At CBS, “Two and a Half Men” (4.9/12 in 18-49, 14.16m) ranked fourth for the frame, as the net’s Monday comedy block remains potent. Also, reality vets “Survivor” (3.6/11, 11.73m) and “Amazing Race” (3.2/9, 10.84m) led their hours, and Tuesday crime dramas “NCIS” (3.5/10, 16.70m) and “The Mentalist” (3.7/9, 17.11m) continue to be solid, with the latter standing as the week’s most-watched scripted program overall.

On Sunday, music by Pearl Jam seemed to boost “Cold Case” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 12.46m), which logged its best 18-49 score in six weeks.

ABC could boast about a demo-winning Thursday behind winning medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” (5.1/13, 14.12m) and “Private Practice” (3.5/10, 9.70m), while the returning “Ugly Betty” (2.0/6, 6.72m) was at least an improvement over the net’s weak-performing half-hours recently asked to kick off the night.

Net’s Sunday is drooping, though “Desperate Housewives” (4.4/11, 13.48m) was again the night’s top show. Lead-in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.7/8, 9.18m) was low as well, and was topped in 18-49 by both CBS’ “Amazing Race” and Fox’s toon laffers.

NBC had a strong Tuesday, with “The Biggest Loser” (3.6/9 in 18-49, 9.26m) putting up more hefty demo scores, and “Law and Order: SVU” (3.9/11, 10.55m) the week’s No. 1 10 p.m. program in 18-49.

Also, “Chuck” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.20m) and “Heroes” (3.0/7, 6.47m) failed to see a rise with their season finales on Monday, and cop drama “Southland” fell to third place in its fourth outing on Thursday (2.0/6, 6.66m).

TNT set cable records for a first-round NBA playoff contest, as its triple-overtime Game 6 thriller between Chicago and Boston averaged 5.35 million viewers on Thursday. Saturday’s Game 7 then broke that record (6.97 million), standing as the largest tune-in for a first-round game on either cable or broadcast since 2004.

Saturday’s game was also the top cable telecast of the calendar year in adults 25-54 (3.2/10).

Disney Channel’s bow of comedy “Jonas” did OK on Saturday with 3.97 million viewers — below what some other preems have done on the net, but a good figure for a Saturday launch. It was TV’s No. 1 program on the day among kids 6-14 and tweens 9-14, grabbing 1.6 million in each category.

On a big weekend for kids programming, Disney Channel topped 4 million viewers on Sunday with series “Hannah Montana” and “Sonny With a Chance.” And Nickelodeon’s multi-night movie “Fairly OddParents: Wishology” did the same on both Friday and Sunday.

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