Primetime Ratings: American Idol Is Fox’s Ratings Diamond

Hell's Kitchen Also Performs Well for Network on Tuesday Night

Caroline and other classic songs proved sweet for Fox as American Idol's Neil Diamond-themed night crushed the competition. Hell's Kitchen dominated, as well.

Fox averaged a 7.1 rating/19 share for the night, led by Idol's 8.7/24 and getting a strong showing out of Hell's Kitchen with a 5.5/14 from 9 p.m.-10 p.m. Fox won every half hour of the night.

ABC and CBS tied for second in the Nielsen Media Research overnight numbers with a 2.4/6. ABC was led by its Dancing with the Stars results show (4/10), which saw the leggy (and weepy) Shannon Elizabeth voted off. CBS' top show was NCIS with a 3/8 from 8 p.m.-9 p.m.

NBC was fourth with a 2.1/6. The network got its best ratings production from a repeat of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 10 p.m.-11 p.m. (4.1/11), which outdrew most of the night’s original programming, including new episodes of Shark on CBS and Women's Murder Club on ABC, the latter of which took Boston Legal's slot at 10 p.m.-11 p.m. (Boston Legal moved to Wednesday).

Murder Club averaged a 2.3/6 in its first half-hour, benefiting from the strong Dancing lead-in, but it dropped precipitously to a 1.6/4 in its second half-hour for a total of a 1.9/5.

But NBC's average was hurt by the filler that preceded it -- an episode of Most Outrageous Moments from 8 p.m.-9 p.m. (essentially a capitulation to the strength of Idol) that averaged only a 1 rating/3 share (and only a 0.9 rating in its first half-hour) and SNL in Primetime from 9 p.m.-10 p.m., which only did a little better at a 1.3/3.

The CW was fifth with a 0.9/2 for Beauty & the Geek (.8/2) and Reaper (1.1/3).