Fox unstoppable in ratings


The ratings records keep coming for Fox.

Buoyed by the most-watched Super Bowl, the network posted the highest-rated week in its 21-year history among total viewers and adults 18-49.

Fox's average of 33.6 million viewers and a 12.9 rating/32 share in 18-49 for the week ending Feb. 2 also marks the biggest weekly ratings haul in the two categories for any network in more than 11 years, Nielsen Media Research said.

Additionally, the blowout weekly win widened Fox's season-to-date 18-49 lead to a 0.9 rating point over its nearest competitor, the largest margin at this point of the season by any network in 10 years.

Fox boasted the top six programs of the week with the Super Bowl, the special post-Super Bowl episode of "House," the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of "American Idol," the regular "House" episode Tuesday and the breakout reality hit "The Moment of Truth."

The New York Giants' 17-14 upset victory of the previously undefeated New England Patriots drew 97.4 million viewers and a 37.5/73 among adults 18-49 to rank as the second-most-watched TV program ever, second only to the 1983 finale of "M*A*S*H."

The postgame episode of "House" (29 million, 12.9/31) was Fox's highest-rated scripted series telecast since the post-Super Bowl episode of "The X-Files" in 1997. Still, "House" couldn't quite match the monster ratings for another medical drama, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," in its showcase airing following the 2006 Super Bowl.

In its second outing, "Truth" posted 17.6 million viewers and a 7.8/19 in 18-49, dropping a modest 24% from its blockbuster premiere and retaining 77% of its "Idol" demo lead-in. The show, which ranks as the third-highest-rated series of the season behind the two editions of "Idol," recently was picked up for 13 more episodes.

Elsewhere on the dial, the biggest highlight of the week was the fourth-season premiere of ABC's "Lost" (16.1 million, 6.7/17) in its new 9 p.m. Thursday slot. The series was up from last year's season finale (13.7 million, 5.8/15), when it faced "Idol" on Wednesday -- and not Thursday -- but was down 15% in viewers and 13% in 18-49 compared with last year's season premiere (18.8 million, 7.7/19). Still, "Lost" dominated its Thursday berth and had its best ratings since the part-season finale Nov. 8, 2006.

For the week, ABC (2.3/6, 6.7 million) was a distant second to Fox among adults 18-49, followed by NBC (2.1/5, 6.4 million) and CBS (1.7/4, 6.9 million).