Fox's 'Idol,' 'House' deliver one-two punch


NEW YORK -- Fox's one-two punch of "American Idol" and "House" delivered once again, bringing the network far above its rivals in Tuesday's primetime.

Leading the way was "American Idol," which averaged 33.1 million viewers and a 13.4 rating/33 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. "Idol" is up 4% in the demo and 6% in viewers compared with the same night a year ago.

"House" (24.9 million, 10.2/24) continued strong with its second-highest adults 18-49 rating ever (last week was its highest demo rating ever). It also ranked as the third-most-watched "House" in its history.

Among the other networks at 8 p.m., CBS' "NCIS" (16.2 million, 3.9/9) was the best of the rest at 8 p.m. beyond "Dateline NBC" (5.7 million, 2.1/5). "America's Funniest Home Videos" was a repeat.

At 9 p.m. nothing could put up much of a fight against "House," with the CBS drama "The Unit" (12.3 million, 3.6/9) coming the closest with "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8.8 million, 2.7/6) behind.

After Fox went off the air at 10 p.m., NBC won with "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (13.4 million, 4.8/12). A special episode of "The Unit" averaged 10.4 million viewers and a 3.3/8, while "Boston Legal" averaged 9.8 million viewers and a 2.9/8.

Nightly averages: ABC (7.7 million, 2.3/6); CBS (13 million, 3.6/9); Fox (29 million, 11.0/29); NBC (9.3 million, 3.2/8); and The CW (3.5 million, 1.6/4).