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Football gives Fox easy win

BCS game improves on last year's rating

The BCS championship game proved to be not only a winner for the Florida Gators but for Fox as well. The network scored big time and won the night with a healthy 9.5 rating in the 18-49 demo based on time adjusted fast nationals from Nielsen (shares not available). ABC finished second with three hours of original programming while NBC and CBS were tightly knit for third.

Beginning at 8:20 p.m. and stretching to 11:49 p.m. when the game ended, Fox’s 9.5 rating was up 16% versus last year’s BCS championship contest when LSU defeated Ohio State. Total viewers also took a 16% jump: 26.8 million against 23.1 million. The game took each hour handily.

ABC’s “Ugly Betty” (2.4 rating/6 share, 7.50 million viewers overall) took second place in the 8 o’clock hour, narrowly defeating a repeat of CBS’ “CSI: NY” (2.0/5, 8.5 million viewers overall). NBC offered a new episode of “My Name Is Earl” (2.0/6, 5.4 million viewers overall) and “Kath & Kim” (1.7/4, 4.1 million viewers overall).

“Grey’s Anatomy” (5.1/12, 13.7 million viewers overall) was the highest-rated scripted program of the evening at 9 p.m., easily defeating a repeat of “CSI” (2.7/6, 10.9) on CBS. NBC broadcast a repeat of “The Office” (2.0/5, 4.6 million viewers overall) and an original “30 Rock” (2.3/5, 5.4 million viewers overall) at 9:30.

At 10 p.m., ABC’s “Private Practice” (3.3/8, 9.0 million viewers overall) matched its season high for the demo and defeated NBC’s “ER” (2.6/7, 7.3 million viewers overall) in a medical matchup, with a repeat of “Eleventh Hour” (1.9/5, 7.6 million viewers overall) falling to third.

All the NBC shows were season lows with the Peacock taking a big hit from the football game.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 8.4/21; ABC, 3.6/9; NBC, 2.2/6; CBS, 2.2/5; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 24.3 million; ABC, 10 million; CBS, 9 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Univision, 4 million; CW, 2 million.

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