Fox tops Tuesday; ABC on rise

'American Idol' lifts Fox to victory

Another expanded episode of “American Idol” carried Fox to victory on Tuesday, while ABC had a pretty good night with its revamped lineup, which included a solid but unspectacular return for sci-fi drama “V.”

Based on preliminary Nielsen estimates, “American Idol” is projected to average roughly a 7.6 rating/21 share in adults 18-49 and 21.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10:03 p.m., dominating each half-hour but getting slowed down some in the opening hour opposite ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” results show. “Idol” was down nearly 10% week to week but continues to track within about 5% of its year-ago season pace.

At ABC, the premiere of the “Dancing With the Stars” results show averaged a 2.9/9 in 18-49 and 14.1 million viewers overall as it moved to the 8 o’clock time period for the first time — the program’s best opening-week results show numbers since the fall of 2008. It was followed by “Lost” (projected 4.1/10, 10.1 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.), which was a tad higher than its recent levels, and the midseason return of “V” (projected 2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall from 10:02 to 11 p.m.), which won its hour in 18-49 and represented a nice improvement in the hour over the low-rated rookie drama “The Forgotten.”

For the night, second-place ABC logged what looks to be its best Tuesday with a regular lineup in a couple of seasons.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), like “American Idol,” was down week to week thanks to the additional timeslot competition from “Dancing With the Stars.” It peaked with a third-place 3.2/8 in 18-49 from 9:30 to 10 p.m., and led into “Parenthood” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), which was also down a little vs. last week and placed second in its timeslot.

CBS aired all repeats for the second straight week, getting its best numbers from “NCIS” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) before falling off at 10 with “The Good Wife” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall).

At CW, “90210” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and “Melrose Place” (0.6/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) remain low, though the latter edged up week to week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.5/21; ABC, 3.3/9; NBC, 2.7/7; CBS, 1.8/5; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 21.3 million; ABC, 10.5 million; CBS, 9.6 million; NBC, 7.0 million; Univision, 3.6 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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