Rivals are out-Foxed

Net's 'Idol' wave makes demo race a washout

Fox won last week in the ratings by a wide margin, sprinting past competitors in the advertiser-coveted adult demographic.

With victories on four nights of the week, Fox averaged a 4.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, well ahead of closest rival CBS' 2.8 average. Despite the spread, the Eye managed to match Fox among total viewers, with both networks drawing an average of 11.2 million. ABC was a close third in the demo (8 million, 2.7), and NBC placed fourth (6 million, 2.2).

Monday featured ABC's triumphant finale of "The Bachelor" (15.5 million, 5.4/13 share) and the even-better-rated "After the Rose" special (17.5 million, 6.7/16) making headlines and setting five-year records.

On Tuesday, Fox stretched "Idol" (24.3 million, 9.0/23) to two hours, sending some rivals into repeats, while NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (9 million, 3.5/9) held steady and the return of the CW's "Reaper" (2.3 million, 0.9/2) wilted.

The second "Idol" (22.8 million, 7.8/22) of the week similarly dominated Wednesday, though lead-out "Lie to Me" slipped to a new low. NBC's "Knight Rider" (5.7 million, 1.7/5) had a quiet finale against "Idol," while the return of the CW's "America's Next Top Model" (3.9 million, 1.8/5) improved on last fall's debut. ABC's "Lost" (10.7 million, 4.9/12) continued its ratings seesawing, up this week.

With "Idol" helping Fox win Thursday, CBS' "Survivor: Tocantins" (11.9 million, 3.8/10) dipped a bit. At 9 p.m., "CSI" (20.9 million, 5.3/13), featuring guest star Taylor Swift, was the highest-rated scripted show of the week despite "Idol"-fueled "Hell's Kitchen" (9.7 million, 4.4/11) turning up the heat and NBC's "The Office" (8.5 million, 4.5/11) and "30 Rock" (7.2 million, 3.8/9) performing strong.

On Friday, CBS' drama block, led by "Ghost Whisperer" (11.1 million, 2.6/9), ruled as usual, and Fox's block of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2.9 million, 1.0/4) and "Dollhouse" (3.6 million, 1.5/5) slipped.

With the start of daylight- saving time Sunday, NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" (7.7 million, 3.2/8) took a hit in its second week. ABC dramas "Desperate Housewives" (13.6 million, 4.7/11) and "Brothers & Sisters" (10.3 million, 3.4/9) also fell but managed to help the network win the night. (partialdiff)
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