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Eye rides Tues. high

'Rebel' without an aud but country rocks CBS

CBS was sitting high in the ratings saddle Tuesday night with its annual telecast of the CMA Awards, but Fox went bankrupt with “The Rebel Billionaire.”

The Richard Branson-hosted “Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best” became the second new Fox reality skein in the opening week of the November sweep to sputter out of the gate. It averaged a fifth-place 2.3 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.09 million viewers overall for its two-hour preem, according to Nielsen — Fox’s worst in-season Tuesday scores in about two years.

The “Apprentice” copycat failed to open two nights after “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” opened to yawns. Earlier this fall, ABC’s own “Apprentice” ripoff, Mark Cuban’s “The Benefactor,” was a ratings dud.

And on Monday of this week, NBC attracted only a modest aud with the preem of its three-week “$25 Million Hoax” — itself a variation of Fox’s “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.”

Peacock fared better Tuesday with week three of its unscripted weight loss contest “The Biggest Loser” (4.1/10 in 18-49, 10.00m for a 90-minute episode), which matched its preem score of three weeks ago and again grew nicely with each half-hour.

At CBS, the 38th annual Country Music Assn. Awards, honoring the best in country music and featuring artists like Shania Twain, Keith Urban and Reba McEntire, averaged a strong 5.9 rating/15 share in 18-49 and 18.46 million viewers overall.

This is down slightly from last year (when it aired on Wednesday) but it gave CBS its best Tuesday since the night of a Michael Jackson concert spec in November 2001. Kudocast logged its best teen rating (3.0/10) in five years.

The WB enjoyed another robust Tuesday, winning among femmes 12-34 (4.9/13) thanks to season highs from “Gilmore Girls” (2.7/7, 6.13m) and another good outing by “One Tree Hill” (2.1/5, 4.54m). “Gilmore” was television’s top show Tuesday night in females 12-34 (5.2/14) and was No. 2 for its 8 o’clock hour (behind CBS) in adults 18-34 (3.5/10).

At 10, ABC’s “NYPD Blue” hit season highs (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.76m) with a brief return of Jimmy Smits’ deceased character, although it remained well behind NBC’s tough “Law & Order: SVU” (5.3/14, 14.30m).

And at UPN, 8:30 laffer “All Of Us” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.32m) hit season highs in key female demos.

Over on cable, Spike didn’t do much with the premiere of Al Sharpton-fronted reality series “I Hate My Job” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.78m), which improved the time period for the net but declined about 75% from its repeat “CSI” lead-in.

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