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‘Idol,’ ‘Fiance’ power Fox

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox scored a decisive primetime ratings victory with huge numbers for the third-season kickoff of “American Idol” and powerful results from the premiere of unscripted skein “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

Actual prelim numbers are a bit sketchy for Fox programs as they ran at unusual lengths, but the roughly 67-minute premiere of “American Idol 3” figures to come in at about a 12.7 rating/30 share in adults 18-49 and 28.5 million viewers overall – topping last year’s boffo opening-night scores.

From 9:07 to 10, “Obnoxious Fiance” delivered a projected 9.6/21 in adults 18-49 and 20.8 million viewers overall, a bit better than the huge premiere-night rating for NBC’s “The Apprentice” two weeks ago.

NBC put up the best fight Monday with a two-hour “Fear Factor” (5.6/13 in adults 18-49, 12.9 million viewers overall) and the best numbers in three tries for “Average Joe 2” (5.6/13 in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers), which finished a tick ahead of a repeat of CBS drama “CSI: Miami” in the 18-49 demo.

“CSI: Miami” (5.5/13 in adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers), which topped the 10 o’clock hour in adults 25-54 and total viewers, paced the Eye net’s all-repeat lineup, while ABC was a distant fourth with the network preem of “Meet the Parents” (2.1/5 in adults 18-49, 7.1 million viewers) and “In Style: Celebrity Weddings” (2.4/6 in adults 18-49, 6.2 million viewers).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 11.2/26; NBC, 5.6/13; CBS, 4.3/10; ABC, 2.2/5; WB, 1.8/4; UPN, 1.0/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 24.8 million; CBS, 12.8 million; NBC, 12.6 million; ABC, 6.7 million; WB, 5.5 million; UPN, 2.6 million.

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