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NBC finds religion

'Revelations' aids Peacock against 'Idol'

There was no end to Fox’s winning ways with “American Idol,” but NBC opened its event series “Revelations” to strong numbers Wednesday.

Delivering the Peacock’s best ratings in Wednesday’s middle hour since September — despite facing an expanded results show edition of “Idol” — “Revelations” ran a strong second across the board. Continued success in the hour could provide a much-needed lift for the Peacock, whose Wednesday lineup has slumped amid an overall downturn at the net.

Also on the night, Fox did pretty well with the launch of Pamela Anderson laffer “Stacked” in the 8:30 slot.

For NBC, the opening installment of six-week series “Revelations” averaged a hearty 5.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 15.59 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. Fox’s “American Idol” was hardly affected, though, as its special one-hour edition delivered an overpowering 10.8/26 in 18-49 and 24.96 million viewers.

Still, “Revelations” built by 53% on its 18-49 lead-in from a special “Dateline” (3.4/10) and ascended by 58% over the net’s regular-program 18-49 average in the hour this season with “The West Wing” (3.3/8). It handily defeated ABC’s third-place “Alias” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 7.74m) and marked the best NBC series perf ever opposite a regular edition of “Idol.”

Pariah and NBC Universal Television Studio’s “Revelations,” an apocalyptic drama starring Bill Pullman and Natascha McElhone, will air five more times in the Wednesday-at-9 hour, with its finale set for May 18.

Looking to expose “Revelations” to as many viewers as possible before its second episode, NBC will rebroadcast the opening hour Sunday at 10 (in lieu of “Crossing Jordan”) and Wednesday at 8. Net plans to regularly air the previous week’s episode Wednesday at 8 before the new seg at 9.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Fox comedy “Stacked” averaged a 3.8/10 in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers overall in the pre-“Idol” slot, building nicely on its lead-in from “Simple Life 3” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 6.45m).

With ABC’s “Lost” in repeat, “Stacked” tied with NBC’s special “Dateline” edition on the book “The Da Vinci Code” for the slot lead in 18-49 and was also a close runner-up to UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model 4” in 18-34. “Stacked,” from Steve Levitan and 20th Century Fox Television, led its slot in all key male demos.

“Top Model 4” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.49m) bounced back from a soft perf the previous week opposite an original “Lost” to dominate the 8 o’clock hour in women 18-34 (5.2/15). Other than the finale of “Model 3,” Wednesday’s seg delivered the best 18-34 score for the reality skein this season (3.3/11).

At 10, NBC’s “Law & Order” (5.3/14 in 18-49, 16.85m) benefited from its stronger “Revelations” lead-in to top CBS’ firstrun “CSI: NY” (3.8/10, 11.00m) by a best-yet 39% in 18-49. ABC’s “Eyes” remained third in the hour (2.4/6, 6.07m).

And it was a real struggle for the WB’s “Jack & Bobby” (0.6/1 in 18-49, 1.54m), which returned from a hiatus and retained just one-third of its 18-49 lead-in from “Smallville” (1.8/5, 3.85m).

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