Idol Crushes Flu

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ABC's much-hyped avian flu sweeps movie didn't fly.

ABC’s original Bird Flu in America was crushed by Fox’s Tuesday night one-two punch of American Idol and House, which won the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours, respectively, in ratings and share in the 18-49 demo according to Nielsen fast national data for the night.

In the 18-49 demo, American Idol logged a 10.5/30 for the first half of the 8 p.m. hour; CBS’ NCIS was second with a 3.3/9 and in a surprise third place showing, the finale of WB’s Gilmore Girls nabbed a 2.0/6. Outrageous Moments on NBC was fourth with a 1.6/5; ABC’s Bird Flu in America fifth with a 1.5/4 and UPN’s Next Top Model sixth with a 0.8/2.

The top three shows picked up in the second half of the hour, Idol won the hour overall with a 12.2/31; NCIS second with a 3.6/9; and Gilmore Girls third with a 2.3/6. Outrageous Moments remained fourth with a 1.8/5; Bird Flu fifth with a 1.7/4; and Next Top Model picked up to a 1.0/3, but remained in sixth place.
Over its two hours, ABC's anemic avian offering averaged a check-for-a pulse 1.8/4, almost unheard-of for a highly promoted sweeps event on a major network. Its numbers were off 40% from the same time period last May.

House won the 9:00 hour in the demo, with a 9.5/23 in the first half of the hour and a 9.4/23 in the second half. The Unit on CBS was second with a 2.7/7 at the top of the hour, jumping to a 4.0/10 at the bottom half.

Third for the first and second halves of the hour was NBC’s Scrubs, with a 2.7/7 and 2.5/6 respectively. Bird Flu jumped to fourth place, splitting the hour with a 1.9/5 and a 2.6/7 by the halves. The WB’s Pepper Dennis and UPN’s Veronica Mars finale tied the first half of the hour at a 1.1/3, where Veronica remained in the second half, but Pepper dropped to sixth place with a 0.9/2.

NBC won the 10 hour in the demo, with CBS second and ABC third. Law & Order: SVU grabbed a 4.5/12 and 5.1/14 split; The Unit got a 3.7/9 and 3.5/9 respectively; and Boston Legal a 2.6/7 and upped to a 2.8/8 in the second half.

Overall, Fox won the night with a 10.4/27; CBS was second with a 3.6/9; NBC third with 3.1/8; ABC grabbed fourth with 2.1/5; The WB fifth with a 1.6/4; and UPN sixth with a 1.0/3.

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