Season finale brings down 'House' for Fox


NEW YORK -- The season finale of "House" led Fox to a win in key measures in Tuesday's primetime, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"House" was the top show by far for the night, averaging 16.9 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/17 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, Nielsen said. It vastly improved on its lead-in "On the Lot" but still suffered its lowest viewership and adults 18-49 rating since Dec. 12, 2006.

The 8 p.m. hour went to a repeat "NCIS" (9.8 million, 2.2/7), which beat out an original of Fox's troubled series "On the Lot" (4 million, 1.8/6) as well as repeats of ABC's "George Lopez Show" (4.9 million, 1.9/6) and NBC's "Law & Order" (6.4 million, 2.0/6).

NBC continued the "Law & Order"-themed night with "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (7.4 million, 2.2/6), which came in second place against "House" but was tied with two repeats of "According to Jim" (5.3 million, 2.2/6) but beat a repeat of "The Unit" (6.2 million, 1.5/4) on CBS.

ABC's "Boston Legal" (9.8 million, 2.8/8) won 10 p.m. in both measures against a repeat "Law & Order: SVU" (8.4 million, 2.7/7) as well as the CBS News special "Flashpoint" (4.7 million, 1.4./4) about the attack in Baghdad on the CBS News crew that killed four people and severely wounded several others including correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

Nightly averages: Fox (10.4 million, 4.2/12); NBC (7.4 million, 2.3/7); CBS (6.9 million, 1.7/5); ABC (6.7 million, 2.3/6); and the CW (1.4 million, 0.5/1).