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Fox feasts on weekly demo

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NEW YORK -- "Hell's Kitchen" kept the home fires burning for Fox, which narrowly beat NBC for the victory in the adults 18-49 demographic for the week ending June 17.

The reality troika of "Kitchen," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" did wonders for Fox despite a week in which it faced competition from NBC and "America's Got Talent" and ABC's disappointing NBA Finals.

"Kitchen" was the week's top show in the 18-49 demo, while "Talent" had the ratings chops to win in viewership, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday.

The week began Monday with an overwhelming demo win for Fox thanks to "Kitchen" (8.8 million viewers, 4.3 rating/12 share). CBS won in viewership thanks to its mostly repeat lineup, while ABC was weak with reality repeats and a new episode of "The Ex-Wives Club" (4.1 million, 1.5/4).

The momentum moved to NBC on Tuesday with a two-hour "Talent" (11.8 million, 3.9/12), which, despite being down from last week's premiere, had just enough to beat Game 3 of the NBA Finals (9.5 million, 3.8/12) as well as Fox's "On the Lot" (2.8 million, 1.2/4).

Wednesday was Fox's with "So Think You Can Dance" (8.9 million, 3.6/12), which came out ahead of everything else, including the premiere of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" (6.7 million, 2.9/8), another episode of ABC's "American Inventor" (6.3 million, 2.2/6) and even NBC's "Deal or No Deal" (8 million, 1.8/6). ABC's sci-fi "Traveler" (4.1 million, 1.3/4) came in third in the 10 p.m. hour.

Fox won the demo again Thursday with "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" (10 million, 3.2/11) and "So You Think You Can Dance" (10.6 million, 4.0/12), which finished ahead overall against the NBA Finals (9.9 million, 4.0/13) as well as the rest of the network fare.

Friday belonged to CBS, with Bob Barker's final "The Price Is Right" (8.4 million, 2.1/9) winning the night in adults 18-49; the Daytime Emmy Awards (8.3 million, 2.0/7) was right behind in the demo. Saturday was won in 18-49 by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" (5.2 million, 1.7/7).

Tiger Woods' failure to capture the U.S. Open gave NBC a boost Sunday, with the golf major spilling to 7:46 p.m. EDT and averaging 9.5 million viewers and a 2.4/11 in the demo. NBC won in the demo, while CBS' repeat dramas and "60 Minutes" took viewership.

In the evening newscasts, ABC took another week in viewership and adults 25-54. ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" averaged 7.5 million viewers and a 1.8/8 in adults 25-54, compared with the 7.1 million and 1.8/8 for "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams." Gibson's newscast had 2.3 million viewers in the demo compared with NBC's 2.2 million. "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" averaged 5.9 million viewers and a 1.5/7 in adults 25-54.

For the week, Fox averaged 5.7 million viewers and a 2.2/8 in the demo, followed by NBC (6.5 million, 2.1/7), CBS (7.3 million, 1.9/6), ABC (5.1 million, 1.8/6) and the CW (1.9 million, 0.7/2).