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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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'Idol' Wins Again; 'Ted' Debut Improves Time Period by 22%

March 19, 2009 10:52 AM

Another one bit the dust on Wednesday night’s “American Idol,” while ABC and CBS battled for second place.

Better Off Ted

Fox’s “American Idol” was easily the top show of the night, scoring an 8.4 rating/21 share among adults 18-49 and 23.1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Although last night’s episode was down 8% from last Wednesday, “Idol’s” rating was twice as large as the night’s second-place show, ABC's “Lost.” In the 8 p.m. hour “Lie to Me” (3.1/9, 10 million) was down 9% to a new season low, but it still topped the competition in its timeslot. Fox averaged a 5.7/16 (16.6 million) to win the night.

ABC kicked off the night with a new episode of “Scrubs” (2.2/7, 5.8 million) in its new time period, where the show matched recent Tuesday night performances. The series premiere of “Better Off Ted” came in with a 2.2/6 (5.6 million) at 8:30. While “Ted” retained 100% of its lead-in and improved the previous time-period average by 22%, it ranks as the network’s lowest-rated comedy premiere since October 2005. At 9 p.m. a new episode of “Lost” (4.2/10, 9.1 million) took a hit from head-to-head competition with “Idol,” dipping to a new series low (excluding clip shows) and coming in 13% off its season-to-date average. The network wrapped up the night with “Life on Mars” (2.0/5, 5.3 million), up 43% from last week when it followed a “Lost” repeat. ABC averaged a 2.8/8 (6.7 million) to claim third overall.

CBS' comedies were neck-and-neck with ABC's during the 8 p.m. hour. “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7, 7.4 million) was flat from last week, as was “Gary Unmarried” (2.3/7, 7.6 million). New episodes of “Criminal Minds” (3.2/8, 13.5 million) and “CSI: NY” (3.3/9, 12.7 million) were down 11% and 6%, respectively. Overall CBS edged ABC to take second place with a 2.9/8 (11.2 million).

NBC’s programs saw dips across the night. In its second week, “The Chopping Block” (1.2/4, 3.5 million) was down 14% in the demo. “Life” (1.5/4, 4,2 million) dipped 15% from last week, while “Law & Order” (2.1/6, 7.1 million) was down 5%. NBC finished fourth with a 1.6/4 (4.9 million) for the night.

The CW’s “America’s Next Top Model” scored a 1.6/5 (3.6 million), dipping 16% from its performance last week and ranking fourth for the hour. Last night’s episode scored a 3.0/9 among women 18-34. “Model” was paired with an encore “90210” to give the network an average 1.0/3 (2.3 million) for the night and a 1.9/5 in the younger female adult demo.

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