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Special ‘Idol’ tops Monday

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox’s “American Idol” invaded primetime Monday turf for the first time this season on Presidents’ Day and came away a big winner, teaming with “24” to give the net a nightly ratings victory, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

From 8 to 9, “American Idol” (9.8 rating/23 share in adults 18-49, 23.2 million viewers overall) beat ABC, CBS and NBC combined in key demos even though this was its tamest delivery of the season. “24” took advantage of a stronger lead-in at 9 to record season highs (5.6/12 in adults 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall), finishing first or second in most categories.

CBS was paced by a 90-minute “CSI: Miami” (6.6/15 in adults 18-49, 19.2 million viewers overall) that was the clear leader in the 10 o’clock hour. A special 9 o’clock seg of “Two and a Half Men” (5.6/12 in adults 18-49, 17.6 million viewers overall) placed first in adults 25-54 and total viewers.

At NBC, “Fear Factor” (3.6/9 in adults 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) hit some firstrun series lows opposite “Idol,” but dramas “Las Vegas” (4.8/11 in adults 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) and “Medium” (5.4/13 in adults 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) held up pretty well.

ABC was led by “Supernanny” at 10 (4.3/10 in adults 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), and the WB’s winter finale of “Everwood” performed nicely at 9 (2.1/4 in adults 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary adults 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 7.7/18; CBS, 5.2/12; NBC, 4.6/11; ABC, 3.8/9; WB, 1.9/4; UPN, 1.4/3.

In total viewers: Fox, 18.2 million; CBS, 15.7 million; NBC, 11.5 million; ABC, 9 million; WB, 5.2 million; UPN, 3.2 million.

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