Fox Doubles Up with Idol


Fox made it two in a row Wednesday night. Powered by the vote-off show of American Idol at 8-30-9 (8.9 rating/25 share), and strong outings from That 70's Show and The O.C., Fox won the night in 18-49's (5.7/16.

In some good news for the struggling and corporately shook-up ABC, the network edged out NBC for second for the night with a 4.1/12 on the strength of reality shows The Bachelor (5.0/13) and Extreme Makeover (4.4/12).

Makeover was up over its debut in the Wednesday 10 p.m. time period last week, where it did a strong 4.2/11. It is up significantly over the 2.7/7 it had been averaging Thursday at 9, but going up against CBS' powerhouse CSI apparently had a lot to do with depressing that number. ABC has moved struggling Kingdom Hospital into that tough time period as something of a sacrificial lamb.

NBC was third for the night in 18-49's with a 4.0/11 for a Most Outrageous Live TV special, followed by The West Wing, which was third in its time period and fourth in households for an original story that was heavily critical of media consolidation. NBC won the 10-11 time period with workhorse Law & Order.

CBS was fourth on the night in 18-49's with a 2.4/7 for 60 Minutes II, repeats of King of Queens and Yes Dear, and a 48 Hours on the death of Princess Diana. The show drew some criticism for airing paparazzi photos of the dying Diana, but it didn't seem to draw a lot of viewers, coming in a distant last (2.8/7) among the three nets in the 10-11 p.m. time period.

WB was fourth for the night with a 1.9/5 for Smallville and Angel, and UPN was sixth with a 2.1/3 for Enterprise and I'm Still Alive, which was only barely alive, recording the lowest demo number, 1.2/3, of any show on the night.