Idol finale blows away competition


It's over. The fat man has sung and, as expected, Fox won big in the ratings
Wednesday with the two-hour American Idol: Search for a Superstar finale.

The show pulled a record 35 share among adults 18 through 49.

Almost 40 million viewers tuned in to the final half-hour of the broadcast
from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. to watch the show crown "Velvet Teddy Bear" Ruben Studdard
the new American Idol.

NBC was a distant second across the key ratings categories with a night of
Law & Order including the 1990 pilot and the season finale from 10
p.m. to 11 p.m. The finale won its time period with about 19 million viewers.

ABC was third in the demos and fourth in households with My Wife &
, The Bachelor and Extreme Makeover. CBS was third
in households and viewers and fourth in the demos with coverage of country-music

For the night the Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate ratings, households: Fox 18.6
rating/28 share, NBC 9.9/15, CBS 7.7/12 and ABC 6.7/10.

Adults 18 through 49: Fox 14.8/35, NBC 4.8/12, ABC 4.2/10 and CBS 3.5/8.

In the Nielsen local metered markets, UPN averaged a 3.3/5 (household) with
Enterprise and The Twilight Zone, and The WB Television Network averaged a 1.8/3 with the
movie I Know What You Did Last Summer.