Fox bets the 'House' and wins in demo


NEW YORK -- The "House" season finale was one of the few bright spots in the ratings for the broadcast networks, which concluded the 2006-07 TV seasons two weeks ago and are settling in for a lower-rated summer mix of originals and repeats.

And the telecast of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals gave NBC its lowest viewership Cup history and one of its lowest ratings in adults 18-49 in the network's history, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

"House" was the week's top show in viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic with 17.2 million viewers and a 6.7 rating/18 share, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending June 3, far outpacing everything else for the week. Only four other shows -- three on CBS and another on Fox -- broke the 10 million viewer mark.

Memorial Day started slow with "On the Lot" (2.9 million, 1.3/4), the film-school reality show that has been a major disappointment for Fox. ABC's "Ex-Wives Club" (5.3 million, 2.0/5) and "Supernanny" (5.3 million, 2.1/6) were originals but were soundly beaten by CBS repeats "Two and a Half Men" (10.7 million, 3.5/9) and "CSI: Miami" (9.4 million, 2.9/8) and "The King of Queens" (8.6 million, 2.5/7). Overshadowed was NBC's telecast of the Miss Universe Pageant, which sunk to 7.2 million viewers and a 2.5/7 in adults 18-49.

Thanks to "House," Fox was able to soundly win Tuesday, even with "On the Lot" (4.1 million, 1.8/6) dragging it down. ABC's "Boston Legal" (9.9 million, 2.8/8) edged out a "Law & Order: SVU" repeat (8.5 million, 2.7/7) and outpaced the CBS News documentary "Flashpoint" (4.6 million, 1.4/4). Wednesday went to Fox again with a two-hour "So You Think You Can Dance" (9.3 million, 4.1/12).

Fox won again Thursday with the one-two punch of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (8.9 million, 3.2/11) and "So You Think You Can Dance" (10.6 million, 4.3/12), which bested CBS' "Pirate Master" (7 million, 2.3/8) and the "Scripps National Spelling Bee" (7.1 million, 2.0/6).

Friday went to CBS in viewership and ABC in the demo; "Numbers" (6.9 million, 1.8/6) won in viewership, while "20/20" (6.5 million, 2.0/6) won in the demo. Saturday was a relatively weak night of television, lowlighted by the third game of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators on NBC that averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.6/2 in adults 18-49. It was the lowest-rated Stanley Cup Final in history, and only a July 30, 2005, night of "West Wing" repeats and "Revelations" scored slightly lower in adults 18-49.

Sunday went to CBS in viewership, and the network tied Fox for the lead in adults 18-49.

In the evening news race, ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" narrowly defeated by 50,000 viewers "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" in the adults 25-54 demo, while "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" turned in another record-low performance. ABC averaged 7.9 million viewers and a 1.9/9 in the demo, compared with NBC's 7.4 million and 1.9/9; CBS averaged 5.5 million viewers and a 1.5/6.

For the week, Fox averaged 6.6 million viewers and a 2.6/8 in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (7.6 million, 2.0/6), ABC (5.4 million, 1.8/5), NBC (4.8 million, 1.6/5 and the CW network (1.9 million, 0.7/2).