What a difference Simon Cowell and company make. Fox came back to earth Thursday after two nights of riding American Idol to impressive wins in demos and households. Meanwhile, ABC's night of reality--Primetime and ice skating--did not score very high with the judges.
It was an unusual night for network TV, with sports or pseudo-sports going head to head across three networks.
The main beneficiary was NBC, which easily won the night in the 18-49 demo and households. For the night it did an 11.6 rating/19 share in 18-49's, primarily on the strength of Donald Trump starrer, The Apprentice, and a repeat of ER. According to NBC, The Apprentice's 10.8/ 27 in adults 18-49 (according to Nielsen overnight numbers), was the best showing for an NBC show in the time period since September 2001.CBS was second for the night in the demo with a 3.7/10 for its coverage of NCAA basketball. Fox came in third with a 2.0/5 for Tru Calling and Forever Eden.
ABC was fourth with a 1.5/4. It's 1.3 rating for coverage of the men's and pairs finals in the World Figure Skating Championships at 9-11 came in tied with The WB for last in the demo.
UPN was fifth with a 2.1/6 for two hours of WWE wrestling. The WB was sixth with Steve Harvey's Big Time,Like Family and JKX.
In the household race, the order was NBC, 11.6/19; CBS, 7.2/12; ABC, 5.0/8; Fox and UPN, both 3.3/5; and The WB, 2.0/3.