Tues. night tuned in to Fox


NEW YORK -- Fox carried Tuesday with the powerful combination of "American Idol" and "House" towering over everything else in primetime.

"American Idol" was the night's most-popular show and averaged 31 million viewers and a 12.9 rating/31 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.

But "House" (26 million, 11.1/25) managed to keep much of the "Idol" audience and won its hour in the major demographics.

Meanwhile, between 8 and 9 p.m., only "NCIS" (15.7 million, 3.6/9) stood out against "Dateline: NBC" (6.4 million, 2.4/6), The CW's "Gilmore GIrls" (4.3 million, 1.9/6) and a repeat "America's Funniest Home Videos."

The 9 p.m. hour saw nothing break out beyond "House." CBS's audience fell hour-to-hour with "The Unit" (12.2 million, 3.6/8), which was still ahead of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8.6 million, 2.9/7), "Primetime: The Outsiders" (8.7 million, 3.4/8) and The CW's "Veronica Mars" (2.6 million, 1.1/3).

Viewership moved to "Law & Order: SVU" (12.9 million, 4.9/12), which won the 10 p.m. time period against "Boston Legal" (9.5 million, 2.8/7) and a repeat "Without a Trace."

Nightly averages: ABC (8.2 million, 2.7/7); CBS (12.2 million, 3.3/8); NBC (9.3 million, 3.4/8); Fox (28.5 million, 12.0/28); and The CW (3.5 million, 1.5/4).