March 1, 2006

Fox, “Idol” sing victory song again Tuesday

By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Powered by another
"American Idol," Fox ran away with Tuesday's primetime ratings
race, spoiling the premiere of "The Amazing Race" and the
second of the five-night run of "Deal or No Deal."

"Idol" averaged 29.7 million viewers and did a 12.3
rating/30 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to
preliminary ratings estimates from Nielsen Media Research. The
hour-and-a-half show started strongly -- 26.3 million viewers
-- and then concluded with a monster 33.1 million viewers
between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

At 9:30 p.m., though, Fox fell off a bit with "The War at
Home." But its 13.5 million viewers and 6/14 still looked
pretty good compared to the competition.

CBS tied with NBC in the coveted demo for second place for
the night (3.8) although it came in a distant second in total
viewers (11.8 million vs. NBC's 10.4 million). "NCIS" averaged
14.9 million viewers and a 3.2/9 at 8 p.m., the best of the
rest against "Idol."

Yet the two-hour premiere of "Amazing Race" didn't jump out
of the gate strongly, averaging 10.3 million viewers and a 4/10
in the demo. "Amazing Race" dropped in total viewers but added
slightly in the demo (9.9 million, 3.4/8) compared to its
lead-in before dropping to third place at 10:30 p.m. with 9.4
million viewers and a 4.0/10.

NBC wasn't able to do much with its lineup, which began at
8 p.m. with the second installment of "Deal or No Deal"
averaging 9.9 million viewers and a 2.9/8 in the demo. Two
half-hours of "Scrubs" were the network's combined for 7.5
million viewers and a 3.2/8 in the demo. NBC recovered at 10
p.m., with "Law & Order: SVU" averaging 13.7 million viewers
and a 4.9/12 in the demo.

ABC, on the other hand, which rode high on Sunday with the
last "Dancing with the Stars" as well as Monday's "Bachelor:
Paris" surprise, underwhelmed. Its high point was a new episode
of "Boston Legal," which averaged 11.1 milllion viewers and a
3.4/9 in the demo.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter