Fox Gets Less Ratings Help from Idol

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Fox won the Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings Wednesday night in the key 18-49 demo (it also beat NBC by a muzzle in households), but its prime-time average was down sharply from the previous week.

That was due primarily to the fact that American Idol was an hour last week, but only a half-hour this week, and a lower-rated half hour at that. Idol averaged a 10.6 rating/26 share last week, compared to a 9.4/24 Wednesday, when Anwar was sent packing and, astoundingly, Scott managed to survive yet again.

Fox averaged a 4.9/14 for the night, compared to a 6.9/18 the week before.

NBC was second with a 3.9/11, thanks to Law & Order at 10 (a time-period-winning 5/14) and the second installment of the Davinci Code-like Revelations, which lost out to Idol (doesn't everybody) in its first half-hour, but won its second, averaging a 4.5/11 for the full hour at 9-10.

Dateline pulled down the average with a 2.3/7 at 8-9.

ABC was third with a 3.0/8. Its top show was Alias (3.2/8), with Lost also recording a tie for best in the time period (with Fox's sitcoms) at a 3.1/10 at 8. New drama Eyes continued to draw relatively few eyeballs, tying its previous week's 2.5/7, but in third at 10 behind Law & Order and a repeat of CSI: NY.

CBS was fourth with a 2.6/7. Its top show was Yes, Dear with a 3.2/8 at 9:30-10. Its averaged was pulled down by 60 Minutes at 8, which came in last behind both UPN and The WB.

UPN came in fifth for the night with a 1.5/4 thanks to Next Top Model, its top show, while The WB was sixth with a 1.3/4. It got a relatively strong showing from Smallville (1.7/5), then dropped precipitously with Jack & Bobby (.8/2).

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