Fox Singers Blast Competition

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American Idol built to a crescendo Tuesday night in crushing all network comers.

The two-hour show began with a 12.2 rating in its first half-hour and closed with a 17.1 in its last half-hour (NBC was second in that half-hour with a 3.1).

Fox won the night with a 15 rating/35 share in the 18-49 demo in Nielsen overnight numbers for the night, beating all the other networks combined and giving Fox what it says is the show's third-best-ever 18-49 rating.

CBS was a speck-in-the-distance second with a 3.5/8, led by a strong showing from NCIS at 8 (3.9/10). New drama Love Monkey averaged a 3.1/8 at 10, in second place, but behind both Boston Legal on ABC and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU on NBC, which tied for first at a 3.7/9.

NBC was third for the night with a 2.8/7. It's top show was SVU.

ABC was fourth with a 2.6/6. Boston Legal led the way. Commander in Chief's critical acclaim (star Geena Davis won a Goloden Globe), has yet to translate into strong ratings, with that ABC show averaging only a 2.3/5 at 9-10 for fourth place Tuesday night.

Univision was next at a 1.8/4. It was followed by The WB, whose days are now numbered. Tuesday's numbers were a 1/2 for an all-repeat lineup, while UPN, which is also folding in the fall, again failed to crack a 1 rating, averaging a .7/2 for its repeats.

WB and UPN programming together, which some will be when the new CW network launches in the fall, averaged a 1.7/4, still not enough to top Univision, though it is primarily targeting a different audience--Spanish speakers.

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