Fiesta Bowl gives Fox win in 18-49 demo


NEW YORK -- Fox rode the Fiesta Bowl to an adults 18-49 victory in Wednesday's primetime while NBC won the night in viewership thanks to "Deal or No Deal" and the two-hour season premiere of "Law & Order."

The Oklahoma-West Virginia game averaged at least 11.5 million viewers and a 4.1 rating/11 share in the demo, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. It came up against strong competition in viewership from NBC and in the demo with ABC's reality series.

The two-hour "Law & Order" premiere averaged 13.4 million viewers and a 3.8/9 in the demo. "Law & Order" was the night's most-watched show. It was also the best viewership and demo ratings for the show since May 2006.

Fox won all three hours in adults 18-49 thanks to the game, though NBC's "Deal" (12.2 million, 3.4/9) came in a strong second place ahead of ABC's "Wife Swap" (8.5 million, 3.3/9) and CBS' "Power of 10" (6.7 million, 1.7/4), both season premieres. The CW's "Crowned" (1.9 million, 0.8/2) was in fifth place.

ABC premiered "Supernanny" (9 million, 3.8/9) between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., and beat "Law & Order" in the demo between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. CBS dropped off the map for the rest of the night with repeats of "Criminal Minds" (7.9 million, 2.1/5) and "CSI: NY" (6.5 million, 1.8/5).

Fox (11.5 million, 4.1/11) won the night in adults 18-49 while NBC (13 million, 3.6/9) won in viewership over ABC (8.8 million, 3.7/9); CBS (7 million, 1.9/5); and the CW (2 million, 0.9/2).