‘Idol,’ ’24’ power Fox’s Tuesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The penultimate episode of “American Idol” crushed the season finales on the other nets Tuesday, teaming with season-best scores from “24” to give Fox an easy victory on the night in key demos.

From 8 to 9, “Idol” (10.9/30 in adults 18-49, 25.1 million viewers overall) was again dominant, topping the other three major nets by 10 shares in adults 18-49 and by 17 shares in adults 18-34. Drama “24” wrapped its second season with its best-ever delivery in both adults 18-49 (6.6/16) and total viewers (14.5 million). Compared with last season’s finale (when it didn’t follow “Idol”), “24” was up by about 40%.

ABC ran second in 18-49, led by the highest-rating since October for “NYPD Blue” (5.0/13 in adults 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall) and a solid second-place demo finish for “According to Jim,” whose 9 o’clock seg defeated NBC’s season finale of “Frasier” (4.4/11 vs. 4.0/10); the Peacock vet was down 40% year-to-year. At 9:30, ABC’s second-place “Less Than Perfect” (3.8/9) similarly defeated NBC’s “Watching Ellie” (3.3/8).

CBS did better than usual from 9 to 11 with the conclusion of mini “Hitler: The Rise of Evil” (3.7/9 in adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall). At 8, “JAG” (2.4/7 in adults 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) finished its season in second among adults 25-54 (3.6/9).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.7/23; ABC, 4.0/10; CBS, 3.3/9; NBC, 3.0/8.

In total viewers: Fox led with 19.8 million.

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