'Glee,' 'Idol' top night of tough competition

Each network had something to cheer about on the final Tuesday of the television season, but it was Fox — with the demo-dominant “American Idol” and “Glee” — that shined the brightest. Still, brutal competition, including the finales of three reality programs and a key NBA playoff game, likely cut into ratings across the board.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “American Idol” (6.6 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, 19.6 million viewers overall) didn’t see any uptick for its final performance episode of the season, but it more than topped the combined demo delivery of NBC and CBS in the 8 o’clock hour and was easily the night’s top-rated program. It was followed by “Glee” (4.8/13 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), which was also on par with its recent performances to stand as the night’s No. 2 show among young adults.

NBC took second on the night in demos behind the finale of “The Biggest Loser: Couples” (3.8/11 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall), which logged a five-month high but was down by double-digit percentages vs. its year-ago final, which aired a week earlier and away from other finales. And at 10, “Parenthood” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was in line with its recent showings to place second among young adults.

ABC’s two-hour “Dancing With the Stars” finale averaged a 3.8/10 in 18-49 and 18.2 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., placing third in demos during the tough 9 o’clock hour before dominating from 10 to 11. After starting out hot in March with an intriguing cast of celebrities, this season lost steam down the stretch with the ouster of the likes of Kate Gosselin and Pamela Anderson, and the finale was down about 25% vs. last year’s spring wrap-up. In the night’s opening hour, a “Dancing” repeat from the previous night settled for a 1.6/5 in 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers overall.

CBS opened with “NCIS” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 15.9 million viewers overall), which placed second in the 8 o’clock hour in both adults 25-54 and total viewers. The net then dropped off from there, however, as the first-season finales of “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) were at their lowest levels to date.

Ratings will be released later today for Tuesday’s Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns on TNT, although it likely did very well — especially on a night when the broadcasters offered up such femme-friendly fare.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.7/16; NBC, 3.4/10; ABC, 3.1/9; CBS, 2.6/7; Univision, 1.7/5; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 15.5 million; ABC, 15.2 million; CBS, 13.2 million; NBC, 8.6 million; Univision, 3.9 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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