Old refrain: ‘Idol’ leads Fox

'Blue' shoots ABC to second place finish

HOLLYWOOD — As if Fox’s Tuesday lineup isn’t hot enough already, this week “American Idol” and “24” combined for their best delivery yet, carrying Fox to a sweep of the night in all key demo categories.

“Idol,” with contestants singing Bee Gees hits, averaged a huge 10.1/28 among adults 18-49 and 22.42 million viewers overall — its best delivery in the hour since late January. It nearly quadrupled the 18-49 score of ABC’s second-place laffers (2.6/7).

“24” followed by matching its best scores to date (6.5/16 in A18-49, 13.49m), dominating its hour in every under-55 adult category.

In overall audience, Fox’s 18.4 million on Tuesday was its largest for a regular lineup on any night since Nov. 9, 1997 (a Sunday).

ABC was second in most key measures, led by “NYPD Blue” (4.4/12 in A18-49, 11.56m), which swept its hour in demos. Net’s comedy block was paced by “According to Jim” at 9 (3.8/10 in A18-49, 9.07m), which finished a tick behind NBC’s “Frasier” (3.9/10 in A18-49, 10.89m).

At 9:30, ABC’s “Less Than Perfect” (3.5/8 in A18-49, 8.39m) moved ahead of NBC’s “Watching Ellie” (3.3/8 in A18-49, 8.29m).

‘Amy’ leads Eye

CBS ran fourth in 18-49 and third in 25-54, led as usual by “Judging Amy” (3.6/9 in A18-49), which topped its hour in total viewers (13.29m). NBC’s “Dateline” hour devoted to the 200th episode of “ER” fizzled (3.3/9 in adults 18-49).

The WB finished second in adults 18-34, with both “Gilmore Girls” (2.6/8) and “Smallville” (3.9/11) runners-up to Fox for their hours.

At UPN, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (2.4/7 in A18-34, 4.02m) picked it up a notch two weeks from its series finale, and rookie lead-out drama “Platinum” delivered its best Tuesday 18-34 rating (1.6/5, 2.16m) in its four outings — up 33% week to week. “Platinum’s” 2.0/5 in women 18-34 was the best for the net in the Tuesday-at-9 hour this season.

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