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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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‘Biggest Loser’ Going Strong, ‘Mentalist’ Hits New High, But ‘Idol’s’ Still No. 1

February 11, 2009 4:36 PM

“American Idol” helped Fox claim the top spot Tuesday night, while new dramas on CBS and NBC’s 100th episode of “The Biggest Loser” and “Dateline’s” special interview with the mother of the octuplets helped the two networks land in second place.

The Mentalist

“Idol” scored a 9.2 rating/24 share among adults 18-49 and 24.9 million viewers, according to national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. The lead-in helped give “Fringe” a 4.1/11 (9.8 million) for the night, giving the network an average 6.8/17 (17.6 million) for the night.

CBS began the night with a new “NCIS” (3.7/10, 18 million). At 9 p.m. a new “The Mentalist” scored a 4.2/10 (19.7 million), its biggest audience ever (up 20% from its post-AFC Championship airing in January), and matched its previous high in the demo for a Tuesday telecast. Without competition from “Law & Order,” “Without a Trace” (3.4/9, 14.3 million) reached a high for the season, posting a 26% increase in the demo from last week. CBS tied with NBC for second with a 3.8/10, but trailed Fox by thousands of viewers to average 17.3 million.

NBC (3.8/10, 9.9 million) delivered a one-two punch of events, starting with the 100th episode of “The Biggest Loser” (3.7/9, 9.3 million). The weight-loss competition is up 28% from last year and has posted an average 19% increase over the last five weeks compared with the same time period last year, both up against “Idol.” At 10 p.m. a special “Dateline” (4.0/10, 11.3 million), featuring Ann Curry’s interview with octuplet mom Nadya Suleman, posted the newsmagazine’s best Tuesday performance since January 2005 and the best on any night since Matt Lauer interviewed Prince William and Prince Harry in June 2007.

ABC finished fourth for the night with a 1.7/4 (4.3 million). The holiday-themed 8 p.m. hour featuring “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Valentine” scored a 1.5/4 (4.8 million). The 9 p.m. hour featured back-to-back episodes of “Scrubs” (2.0/5, 4.6 million and 2.0/5, 4.2 million). A special airing of “True Beauty” on a Tuesday posted a 1.6/4 (3.7 million).

The CW averaged a 0.9/2 (1.9 million) with new episodes of “90210” (1.2/3, 2.4 million) and “Privileged” (0.6/2, 1.4 million). Among women 18-34, the network averaged a 1.9 rating.

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