It was a night for singing, with American Idol hogging the microphone as the show prepared to winnow the singers down to the final two.
There was no huge groundswell of interest in another singer--Britney Spears--whose reality show debut on UPN (there are five more episodes to go) finished last in its time period, though better than its predecessor there, Veronica Mars.
UPN also points out that the show delivered more of those 18-49 viewers for a regularly scheduled show in over a year.
Fox won the Nielsen overnight ratings in the key 18-49 demo with an 8.6 rating/23 share Tuesday night, thanks to a 10.1/29 for Idol, up from the 9.9/28 it averaged the previous Tuesday night.
Drama House also contributed, recording a 7.0/18 for second-place ratings honors for the night in the 18-49 demo, though down from the previous week's 7.5/18.
CBS took second place for the night with a 3.7/10 for three hours of singing and awarding at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
NBC took third place with a 3.4/9 despite essentially conceding the first two hours, running repeats of an Outrageous TV Moments special at 8-9 against Idol and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU against House at 9. The net was powered by a time-period-winning performance from an original Law & Order: SVU at 10 (5.6/15).
ABC's all-original lineup limped in at a 2.4/6 for fourth place, dead even with last week. Its only show to top a 3 rating was According to Jim (3.4/8) at 9.
The WB was fifth with a 2.1/5, powered by a strong outing from Gilmore Girls (2.3/6), which was third in the 8-9 time period against Idol, beating both ABC and NBC in the hour.
UPN was sixth with a 1.5/4 for Next Top Model and the debut of the much -hyped Britney & Kevin: Chaotic reality show.
UPN rushed it onto the schedule for sweeps, but at a 1.8/4, the home-video tour of the courtship and marriage of the pop star and hubby was still last in its time period, though that was a definite improvement over the 1.2/3 for Veronica Mars in the time period the previous week.