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Fox flies by ‘Bird Flu’

Net provides a big dose of 'House'

Nobody caught ABC’s “Bird Flu,” as the sensationalized sweeps telepic ran fourth Tuesday, overwhelmed by Fox’s “American Idol” and “House.”

Pic offered a fictional account of what some believe could become a national health crisis, but until that happens, viewers apparently don’t want to hear about it. The small aud that tuned in at the start grew only slightly in its second hour, after “Idol” ended.

According to Nielsen, “Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America” settled for a 1.8 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.28 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 o’clock — merely on par with the net’s tiny week-ago comedy scores in the time period and hardly the sweeps boost ABC was seeking.

Net did more than twice this rating a few Tuesdays ago with the conclusion of its new take on “The Ten Commandments.”

It was a dismal night all around for the Alphabet, as “Boston Legal” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 9.33m) placed third at 10.

Fox rolled as usual as “American Idol,” featuring the four finalists singing Elvis Presley hits, racked up a huge 11.6/31 in adults 18-49 and 28.85 million viewers overall. Up 14% in the demo vs. the same night a year ago, “Idol” bested the other five broadcasters combined by 16%.

“House” (9.4/23 in 18-49, 24.29m) continued its strong spring run, dominating the 9 o’clock hour with one of its best scores to date. It enjoyed even better growth than “Idol,” rising 27% vs. the same night a year ago.

CBS ran second in each hour Tuesday with “NCIS” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 15.71m), “The Unit” (3.8/9, 14.18m) and a special additional firstrun “Unit” at 10 (3.7/10, 12.33m).

NBC finished third at 9 with “Scrubs” (2.8/7, 6.20m) and won the 10 o’clock hour with “Law & Order: SVU” (4.8/13, 12.88m), although it was on the low end.

The final episode of “Gilmore Girls” on the WB rose compared with recent weeks (2.4/6, 5.33m), placing second in viewers 12-34 (2.6/8). Show will shift to the CW in the fall.

And it was a quiet second-season finish at 9 for UPN’s “Veronica Mars” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.42m), although numbers repped its best showing since moving to Tuesday last month.

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