American Idol powered Fox to a Wednesday-night victory in the Nielsen Media Research prime-time ratings, unseating ABC on a night it has grown accustomed to winning with its new drama, Lost.
Thanks to an 11.1 rating/27 share for American Idol (8-9) in the key 18-49 demo, Fox took the night with an 8.2/20 average, more than twice the 3.4/8 it averaged the previous Wednesday.
One question coming into the night was just how much of that American Idol audience Fox could deliver to the debut of its new drama, Point Pleasant (sort of The Devil's answer to Joan of Arcadia). The answer wasn't exactly clear.
Point Pleasant averaged a 5.4/12, which was an improvement over Nanny 911's 4.0/10 the week before. But a number of the curious failed to stick around. Point Pleasant averaged a 5.9/14 in its first half-hour, but only a 4.8/11 for its second.
ABC's Alias won at 9-10 with a 5.8/14 average. Lost was the second highest rated show of the night, averaging a 7.3/18 going head-to-head with Idol. That was an impressive showing given that second place to the Tuesday Idol premiere from 8 to 9 was a 3.0/8, shared by CBS (Navy NCIS) and NBC (Biggest Loser). ABC only managed a 2.1 Tuesday at 8-9 with My Wife & Kids. ABC was second on the night with a 5.8/14.
CBS and NBC tied for third with a 3.2/8. CBS' CSI: NY came in third at 10 with a 3.8/10, continuing to underperform its siblings CSI and CSI: Miami.
NBC's best show on the night was Law & Order, which won at 10 with a 4.7/13. It's Swimsuit Model Search could only muster a 1.6/4 at 8-9 against the search for the newest singing sensation.
The WB was fifth with a 1.1/3 for a repeat of Smallville against Idol and a new Big Man on Campus. UPN was sixth with a .9/2 for Road to Stardom, it's own sing-off reality competition, and a repeat of Kevin Hill.