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ABC ‘Makeover’ proves cut above

Plastic surgery skein keeps slot warm for 'Bachelorette'

HOLLYWOOD — Don’t be surprised to see more nips and tucks on ABC’s sked in the new year, as Wednesday’s plastic surgery spec “Extreme Makeover” unmasked more big ratings for the net in the night’s 9 o’clock hour.

One week after a Whitney Houston interview on “Primetime” in the same hour delivered the best adults 18-49 rating for a newsmag in 3½ years (9.0/22), “Extreme Makeover” produced a slot-winning 5.7/14 in A18-49 and a second-place 13.1 million viewers overall (behind NBC’s “The West Wing”).

This timeslot is where “The Bachelor” excelled this fall, so credit ABC skedders for keeping the lights on between “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” with these high-profile rating grabbers.

Taking shape

“Makeover” followed three volunteers through the plastic surgery process, with the final half-hour including final polishes like teeth-cleaning and fashion tips from experts.

Despite the strong showing at 9 and demo victories in the leadoff hour from “My Wife and Kids” (4.7/13 in adults 18-49) and “George Lopez” (4.5/12), ABC placed second on the night to NBC, as viewers again quickly fled the Alphabet at 10 when “MDs” hit the air. The medical drama (2.0/5 in adults 18-49) landed deep in third, retaining a mere 34% of its lead-in.

The Peacock (5.5/15 in adults 18-49, 15.3 million viewers overall) reclaimed its first-place standing Wednesday behind season-high numbers for “Law & Order” (7.6/20 in adults 18-49) and the third-best score of the season for “Ed” (4.0/11).

Opposite “Makeover,” CBS reality skein “Amazing Race 3” (9.39m, 4.0/10 in A18-49) didn’t see much of a boost with its penultimate episode, ranking third. Its season wraps with a two-hour finale Wednesday.

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