Idol Golden; Contender... Doesn't


The sun rose. The sun set. Fox's American Idol propelled the network to a Monday-night victory in households and the key 18-49 demo in the Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings.

NBC's debut of boxing show, The Contender, didn't manage to KO anybody. It's 4 rating/10 share at 10-11 was well under Medium's 5.6/13 in the time period the week before. Its 4.3/10 at 9:30-10 was also far below the second half of Fear Factor last week (5.7/12).

At a 10 rating/26 average, American Idol equaled its last-Monday rating average (which had been up from the week before) while increasing its share of the audience by a couple of points from a 24. NBC's Fear Factor took second at 8-9 behind Idol, but a distant second at a 3.2/8, down from the previous week.

Fox won the night with a 7.8/19 in the 18-49 demo. At 9, drama 24 pulled a 5.6/13, down from its 6.3/13 the week before.

CBS was second on the night with a 5.1/12 in the demo, thanks to a 7.3/19 from CSI: Miami and strong outings from a repeat of Raymond at 9 (5/12) and a new Two & a Half Men (5.6).

NBC was third with a 3.9/9 for the night in 18-49s. Contender never contended for the crown in any of its three half-hour time periods, coming in third at 9:30-10 and a distant second at 10-11. The reality show averaged a 4.2/11 for its 90-minutes.

ABC was fourth with a 3/7. Its top show was Supernanny at 10 p.m., with a 3.8/9. The WB just nipped UPN for fifth, recording a 1.2/3 for a repeat of Seventh Heaven against Idol and a new Summerland. UPN was sixth with a 1.1/3 for an all-repeat lineup of One on One, Cuts, Girlfriends and Half & Half.