'Idol' on top, average ratings for 'Jericho'


NEW YORK -- "Jericho" came back for a limited run up from last year's finale but about even with its season average that got it canceled the first time around.

"Jericho" averaged 7.1 million viewers and a 2.5 rating/7 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. The nuclear-war drama came in just behind the first place show, a repeat "Law & Order: SVU" (8.4 million, 2.6/7) and ahead in 18-49 of an original "Boston Legal" (7.2 million, 2.5/7). It was up compared to last season's finale and about even from last year's average (2.7/8) but nothing like its first few weeks in the fall of 2007. "Boston Legal," on the other hand, was the lowest original rating ever for the series.

Meanwhile, "American Idol" (29.9 million, 12.3/29) saw the highest 18-49 ratings and viewership since the season premiere. Against it, the premiere of "Big Brother" (7.3 million, 2.7/6) came in third in the 9 p.m. hour but was about the same in the ratings as its summer premiere. NBC's two-hour "The Biggest Loser" (7.5 million, 3.0/7) slightly improved week-to-week even against "Idol."

Fox (29.9 million, 12.3/29) won the night in viewership and 18-49 over ABC (5.5 million, 1.5/4); CBS (8.7 million, 2.5/6); NBC (7.8 million, 2.8/7); and The CW (2.6 million, 1.1/3).