‘Idol’ growing as finale nears

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox dominated another Tuesday as “American Idol,” one week from its finale, put up its best numbers since late January and “24” again led its hour, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

“American Idol” (10.4/28 in adults 18-49, 22.8 million viewers overall) defeated its combined major-network competish in the opening hour by 7 shares in adults 18-49 and by 16 shares in adults 18-34. “24” (6.0/15 in adults 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall) commanded its hour by 6 shares in adults 18-49.

ABC ran second in 18-49, led by the highest-rated “NYPD Blue” since December (4.8/13 in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall). Net was second from 9 to 10 with comedies “According to Jim” (4.0/10), which beat NBC’s “Frasier” (3.5/9), and “Less Than Perfect” (3.5/9), and easily topped NBC’s “Watching Ellie” (2.8/7).

NBC and CBS were led by “Dateline” (3.5/9) and “Judging Amy” (3.5/10), respectively, which tied for second in 18-49 at 10. Season finale of the Eye’s “The Guardian” will likely place fifth for its hour in 18-49 (2.8/7) and second in total viewers (11.9 million).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.2/21; ABC, 3.7/10; NBC, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.8/8.

In total viewers: Fox led with 17.9 million.

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