‘Idol’ powers Fox Wednesday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox’s strong Wednesday lineup cruised to victory again this week, powered by more boffo numbers for “American Idol” and nice showings by both “That ’70s Show” and “The OC,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

In the 8:30 half-hour, the results edition of “American Idol” (8.9/25 in adults 18-49, 21.6 million viewers overall) overwhelmed its rivals, topping second-place NBC by 17 shares in adults 18-49. Net also led easily at 8 with “That ’70s Show” (4.5/15 in adults 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) and was just a tick out of the demo lead at 9 with “The OC” (4.7/12 in adults 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall).

ABC remains strong on the night from 9 to 11, as this week “Extreme Makeover” achieved season highs (5.0/13 in adults 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) and for the first time built on its lead-in from “The Bachelor” (4.8/12 in adults 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall).

NBC got a boost from 8 o’clock spec “Life’s Funniest Moments” (second-place 2.8/8 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) and one of the better results in a while for “West Wing” (3.8/10 in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall), which led its hour in men 25-54 and total viewers. And at 10, “Law & Order” remained on top with a 5.6/15 in adults 18-49 and 17.0 million viewers overall, the best scores Wednesday for a scripted program.

CBS was led by repeat comedies “King of Queens” (3.2/8 in adults 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) and “Still Standing” (3.1/8 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.7/16; ABC, 4.1/11, tied with NBC, 4.1/11; CBS, 2.6/7; WB, 1.9/5; UPN, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 13.0 million; NBC, 12.4 million; ABC, 9.7 million; CBS, 8.6 million; WB, 4.2 million; UPN, 2.8 million.

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