Oscars boost ABC to second-place finish

Network comes in behind Fox for the week

ABC enjoyed its most competitive Academy Awards week in four years, placing a strong second to Fox in the ratings for the week ending Feb. 22.

Led by a resurgent Oscars telecast (36.3 million viewers, 12.1 rating/29 share in adults 18-49) that stood as the week's highest-rated show, ABC also had the two highest-rated scripted shows with Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" (15.6 million, 5.9/15) and Wednesday's "Lost" (11.4 million, 5.2/13).

"Lost" dramatically reversed its gradual ratings slide this season and posted its best numbers of the year. With its "Grey's" crossover winding down, "Private Practice" (11.2 million, 4.4/12) dipped from the week before but remained well above its previous average. Monday's "The Bachelor" (12.5 million, 4.4/10), meanwhile, continued to set new season highs.

First-place Fox was topped by the ongoing strength of "American Idol" (24.8 million, 9.0/24 on Wednesday), which dipped slightly but not unexpectedly as the singing competition aired its first results show. Partner "Lie to Me" (11.1 million, 4.1/10) took a hit, too, a bit more worrisome with the freshman drama readying to shed its "Idol" lead-in and move to 8 p.m.

On Fridays, the second weeks of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (3.9 million, 1.4/5) and "Dollhouse" (4.3 million, 1.7/5) failed to improve.

CBS finished third thanks in part to the week's most-watched scripted series, Tuesday's "The Mentalist" (18.2 million, 3.7/9). The second week of "Survivor" (13.6 million, 4.5/12) on Thursday managed to climb a bit from its premiere, but "CSI" (16.9 million, 4.4/11) dropped to a non-Thanksgiving series low. Sunday's "The Amazing Race" (7.8 million, 2.6/6) held its premiere ratings against the Oscars.

NBC finished fourth, led by Monday's "Heroes" (7.7 million, 3.6/8) and Tuesday's "The Biggest Loser" (8.9 million, 3.6/9), with Monday's "Medium" (9 million, 2.8/7) remaining competitive. The CW aired mostly repeats.
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