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‘Idol,’ ‘OC’ top Wednesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Another gigantic “American Idol” performance propelled drama “The OC” to new ratings heights on Wednesday as Fox dominated primetime, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

For the third night in a row, an hourlong auditions episode obliterated everything in its path, averaging a 12.7/32 in adults 18-49 and 29.4 million viewers overall. NBC’s “The Apprentice” ran a distant second in its first Wednesday try (4.9/12 in adults 18-49, 12.3 million viewers), down sharply from its Thursday preview segs but still a solid showing given the competish and NBC’s recent history in the timeslot.

From 9 to 10, “The OC” set series highs (5.7/14 in adults 18-49, 12.9 million viewers), winning the hour in 18-49 opposite ABC’s week two of “The Bachelorette” (5.2/12 in adults 18-49, 11.6 million viewers).

Elsewhere, a repeat of NBC’s “Law & Order” (5.2/14 in adults 18-49, 14.6 million viewers) easily led at 10 opposite ABC’s “Celebrity Mole: Yucatan” (4.0/11 in adults 18-49, 8.4 million viewers).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 9.2/22; NBC, 4.3/11; ABC, 3.9/10; CBS, 2.5/6; WB, 1.9/5; UPN, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: Fox, 21.1 million; NBC, 11.6 million; CBS, 9.7 million; ABC, 9.1 million; WB, 4.3 million; UPN, 3.6 million.

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