Fear fuels ratings fight

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Fear swung the tight sweeps race to win the 18-49 vote in NBC's favor on
Tuesday night, a celebrity version of reality show Fear Factor, that
is.

The novelty edition of the novelty show that features contestants performing
repulsive stunts for prizes looked like a runaway hit Tuesday.

It pulled an average of 16.5 million viewers and more than 18 million in its
last half hour along with 7.2 rating, 19 share in Nielsen fast national numbers.

That surpassed Fear Factor previous ratings high of 7.1 last
summer.

It's been in the doldrums since then.

NBC's old reliable Frasier followed with 17.6 million viewers and a
7.7/18.

Scrubs held some of those eyeballs, drawing 12.9 million viewers and
a 6.2/15.

Fear Factor undoubtedly dampened results for a new episode of
That `70s Show, which drew 9.1 million viewers and a 4.9/13, as Fox
hoped to make headway toward winning the 18-49 crown.

But NBC edged ahead in that contest, averaging a 6.0 rating among 18-49ers to
Fox's 4.6.

Fox had held a one-tenth-point lead, with both hovering around 5.0 coming
into the night.

Fox's 24 ran out of gas against CBS, well on its way to a total viewer sweeps
win, won in total viewers on Tuesday, averaging 15 million to NBC's 14 million
and ABC's 11 million.

CBS's JAG led its Tuesday parade with 16.1 million viewers.

Rookie legal drama The Guardian followed with 13.1 million viewers,
and Judging Amy wrapped the night with 15.7 million viewers.

ABC's rookie legal entry Philly drew 10.1 million viewers against
Amy.

ABC's high scorer was NYPD Blue, with 13.6 million takers and a
5.2/12. - Richard Tedesco

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