'Idol' stays in tune

Shows help Fox top demo; CBS wins viewers

Led by "American Idol," Fox topped another week in the ratings, while CBS was first among total viewers.

Broadcasters were down slightly on average from the previous week because of the holiday weekend, with Wednesday's "Idol" (24.8 million viewers, 9.5 rating/23 share in adults 18-49) ranking as the highest-rated show.

Fox also benefited from a strong "Fringe" (9.8 million, 4.1/10) on Tuesday, though the return of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (3.7 million, 1.4/5) and the series premiere of "Dollhouse" (4.8 million, 2.0/6) as a Friday night drama block largely stumbled, with "Terminator" hitting a series low and "Dollhouse" turning in a fairly modest performance.

CBS ranked second in the adult demo with Tuesday's "The Mentalist" (19.7 million, 4.2/10), which ranked as the week's most-watched scripted show. Monday's "The Big Bang Theory" (12.8 million, 4.5/10) received a lead-in from "Two and a Half Men" (14.9 million, 4.8/11) for the first time and hit a series high.

On Thursday, the premiere of "Survivor: Tocantins" (13.6 million, 4.4/13) came out strong, nearly matching last fall's premiere. Meanwhile, Sunday's debut of "The Amazing Race" (9.2 million, 2.6/7) got off to a sluggish start.

ABC placed a close third overall, led by a surging "Grey's Anatomy" (15.2 million, 5.9/15) and "Private Practice" (14.1 million, 5.7/15), whose crossover episodes gave the former its best rating since November and the latter a series high.

Up against an expanded "Idol," Wednesday's "Lost" (9.8 million, 4.4/10) continued to drop slightly last week, while Monday's "The Bachelor" (11.6 million, 4.2/10) continued to set season highs.

Fourth-ranked NBC's highest-rated show was Thursday's "The Office" (9 million, 4.6/11), followed by Tuesday's "Dateline" (11.3 million, 4.0/10) interview with a mother of octuplets.

Sunday's conclusion of the movie "XIII" (4.3 million, 1.0/2) placed last in its time period. (partialdiff)