ABC drama Lost continues to grow now that it is out of the shadow of Fox's American Idol.
In its third week without Idol competition at 8-9, ABC's second-biggest hit of the season scored a 7.5 rating/20 share in the 18-49 demo, up strongly from last week's 6.7/18. (By contrast, in its last outing against Idol Feb. 2, Lost averaged a 3.1/8).
Lost won its time period handily, and helped ABC to a second-place finish for the night with a 5.0/13 behind Fox's 7.5/18.
Fox moved Idol in part so that it would not have to compete with Lost. That's not because Idol appeared in any danger of losing to the ABC show, but Fox saw no reason to lose even a fraction of ratings momentum to the established ABC hit.
Even so, Idol, which averaged an 11.2/26 at 9-10, was down from its 11.5/27 last week, when it was going up against the exact same lineup on the competition. Wednesday night was the vote-off show, when the first four fallen idols are shown the door.
CBS was third for the night with a 3.5/9. Its top show was CSI: NY, which won its 10 p.m. time period with a 4.8/12. NBC was fourth with a 3.0/7. Its top performer was Law & Order, with a 4.3/11 for second place at 10 p.m.
The WB was fifth with a 1.5/4 for Smallville and Jack & Bobby. UPN was sixth with a 1.2/3 for its own version of American Idol,Road to Stardom, and Kevin Hill.