Three Vie for Crown in Wednesday Ratings Race

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Wednesday night featured a tight race for viewers and households.

Fox (70s Show, Idol, and The O.C.), NBC (Apprentice, West Wing, and Law & Order), and ABC (Wife & Kids, All Relative, and the Bachelorette finale) all had a 13 share in households, though Fox had close to a 1 million person advantage in viewer totals.

CBS said its numbers were effected by local preemptions—to the tune of half a rating point—for college basketball coverage. The network’s regular lineup included 60 Minutes II, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, and 48 Hours.

With Idol as its engine, however—more than 23 million viewers tuned in at 8:30 p.m.—Fox easily won the key adult demos.

In the weblet battle, The WB won with Smallville and Angel, besting Enterprise and an America’s Next Top Model repeat.

According to the Nielsen fast affiliate averages, viewers: Fox, 13.9 million; ABC and NBC, 12.1 million; CBS, 10.5 million: UPN, 3.3 million; The WB, 4.5 million.

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