American Idol hardly missed a beat Tuesday night, despite, or perhaps because of, the buzz about an ABC Primetime Live exposé on the show scheduled for next week.
As promised, no reference was made to the story by host Ryan Seacrest as Bo and company rocked and rolled their way to a 10.4 rating/29 share in the 18-49 demo, according to the Nielsen overnight ratings. That was up significantly from the previous week's 9.6/28, so, if the ratings are any indication, the publicity helped the show.
Fox won the night easily in the key demo with an 8.6/23.
Idol worship was a no brainer for the 8-9 p.m. hour. The increasingly surprising performer, however, was Gilmore Girls on The WB, which recorded a strong 2.4/6 to beat both ABC and NBC in the time period for the second week in a row.
NBC continued its "sacrificial lamb" strategy against Idol, programming a repeat of Outrageous Game Show Moments (1.8/5), but ABC scheduled an original My Wife & Kids (1.8/5), followed by a George Lopez repeat that did a little better at a 1.9/5.
CBS came in second on the night with a 3.8/10, thanks mostly to Amazing Race (5.1/12), which finished second behind a time-period-winning repeat of Fox's drama, House. Fox has to be happy with the strength of that repeat, since it was only slightly under the 6.5/17 the show delivered with an original the week before.
NBC and ABC tied for third with a 2.6/7. ABC's top show was a repeat of According to Jim (3.2/8) at 9-9:30, while NBC's top show was also a repeat--Law & Order: SVU--which averaged a 3.7/10 to win its 10 p.m. time period.
ABC continues to search for an audience at 10 for its Bochco drama, Blind Justice (2.8/7). NYPD Blue, even after 12 years, was still pulling a three rating and above in the time period, while Justice is down sharply from the 4.5 rating it was pulling at the outset.
Editor's Two Cents: One idea might be to put Boston Legal in Blind Justice's time slot for the sweeps and let that show take a rest.
If not, and Justice still doesn't catch on, Tuesday at 10 might be the right fit for Boston Legal when it returns next fall.
The show was put on hiatus for what was to be a limited run of Grey's Anatomy, with Legal returning for the sweeps. But Grey's has been rating so high (an 8.1/20 Sunday night), and holding on to so much more of Desperate Housewives' lead-in audience (three-quarters or more versus half) that the network decided to keep it behind Housewives for the rest of the season and bench Boston Legal until next year.