Overnight Ratings: American Idol Crushes the Competition

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Fox is singing a happy tune as American Idol hits the small screen once again. The two-hour sixth-season premiere trounced the competition, scoring a 15.7 rating/36 share in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights, and improving on its fifth-season premiere (15.3/34). In fact, Idol's opening notched its best season-premiere numbers ever.

Idol's numbers rose every half-hour, from a 12.8/32 in the 8-8:30 slot to a 18.0/40 in the 9:30-10 slot.

CBS was a far distant second, with a 3.2/8 for NCIS (its highest-rated show with a 3.6/9), The Unit and 48 Hours Mystery.

NBC took third with a 2.9/7. Its highest-rated show was Law & Order: SVU (4.5/11 in the 10-11 slot, when Idol was over).

ABC was in fourth place with a 2.1/5. It ran two hours of America's Funniest Home Videos against Idol. No contest there: Videos earned just a 1.7/4.

The CW earned a 0.6/1 for Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars reruns.