Fox hits pave demo sweep for week

'Glee,' 'House,' 'Idol' all score strong ratings

Fox looks poised for a strong finish to the season, as the returning “House” and “Glee” teamed with “American Idol” to carry the net to an easy demo victory last week.

“Glee” surged to series highs coming out of its four-month break and “House,” though down from its last original a month ago, was among the week’s top 10 shows. And then there’s “American Idol,” which remains TV’s top demo draw as it nears the end of its ninth season.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates that include same-night DVR playback, Fox averaged a 3.0 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, well ahead of CBS (2.3/7) and ABC (2.2/7). NBC ran fourth (1.8/5), followed by Univision (1.2/4) and CW (0.9/3).

Fox also led in adults 25-54 (3.4/9) and persons 12-34 (2.3/8) but CBS still had the edge in total viewers (9.2 million to 8.6 million for Fox).

An expanded episode of “American Idol” on Tuesday was the week’s No. 1 program in demos (7.3/21 in 18-49, 20.64m), while Wednesday’s results show (6.8/19, 21.02m) ranked second in 18-49 but first in total viewers. Season-to-date, the show has retained 93% of its 18-49 average vs. last year and 94% of its overall viewership.

Following “Idol” on Tuesday was the return of “Glee” (5.6/15, 13.66m), which came in about 70% above its same-night 18-49 average of the fall ( Daily Variety , April 15). It held 77% of its “Idol” 18-49 average and actually built on the talent show in adults 18-34 rating (5.8 vs. 5.6).

“House” (4.0/12 in 18-49, 10.80m) placed second to ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in its Monday timeslot after typically beating the hoofing hit during its fall edition; still, it was the week’s No. 1 drama in 18-49.

On the downside for Fox, Wednesday rookie drama “Human Target” ended its season quietly (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.24m) and its future prospects are unclear.

Fox’s Saturday lineup of “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” aired in only 40% of the country due to baseball airing on its affiliate stations in much of the country, so its numbers were pretty low (averaging less than 3 million viewers). Baseball was included in the net’s nightly average, though, helping to boost it some.

At CBS, Monday’s 9 p.m. comedies “Two and a Half Men” (4.7/13 in 18-49, 13.71m) and “The Big Bang Theory” (5.1/13, 13.39m) continue to flourish, even if the rest of the shows on the net’s lineup that night sagged some.

In a spring of widespread declining ratings, reality vet “Survivor” is looking very strong (3.8/12, 12.31m). But the net’s “CSI” franchise is showing its age, with “CSI” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 13.19m), “CSI: Miami” (3.0/9, 10.78m) and “CSI: NY” (2.6/8, 10.85m) all at or near firstrun series lows and losing ground to timeslot competish.

The Eye ended the week on top, as the Academy of Country Music Awards (3.2/8, 13.02m) swept its Sunday block even if it couldn’t perform as well as last year’s especially strong outing.

ABC was led by “Dancing With the Stars” (4.9/14, 20.56m), “Lost” (3.9/10, 9.48m) and rookie “Modern Family” (3.7/10, 8.88m), while Monday sophomore “Castle” (3.0/9, 12.68m) continues to click.

Also, “Desperate Housewives” led its Sunday hour in demos (3.3/8, 10.62m) but hit a firstrun low as it returned for its final string of episodes this season. And “Ugly Betty” (1.7/5, 5.41m) still ran third in its Wednesday 10 o’clock hour but it hit a season high with its series finale.

On Monday of the current week, ABC’s Alyssa Milano laffer “Romantically Challenged” bowed to OK numbers (2.9/8 in 18-49, 10.67m), airing behind “Dancing With the Stars” (4.8/13, 21.07m), which notched a 5.3/14 in the demo in its final half-hour. Next week will be key as it faces an original episode of tough timeslot competition.

Repeat-heavy NBC was paced by “The Biggest Loser” (3.3/9 in 18-49, 8.37m) and Thursday spec “Saturday Night Live in the 2000s” (2.9/9, 6.75m), with the latter easily winning its second hour opposite repeats on ABC and CBS.

Of note on Friday was a decent performance for original movie “Secrets of the Mountain” (1.3/5, 7.84m), which won its timeslot in most categories.

At CW, “The Vampire Diaries” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.15m) moved ahead of ABC’s “FlashForward” in 18-49, and in femmes 12-34 (2.5/9) it edged out both CBS’ “Survivor” and Fox’s “Bones” for the 8 o’clock hour’s lead.

USA and TBS finished in a virtual tie for the week’s primetime lead in adults 18-49 (0.8 rating), with the former also winning in adults 25-54 and total viewers and the latter in adults 18-34.

The NBA Playoffs got underway over the weekend, with Sunday’s game on TNT (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.93m for San Antonio-Dallas) performing similarly to ESPN’s Saturday contest (1.6/6, 3.82m for Miami-Boston).

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