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Ratings Chart Attack!

'Idol' Wins With Season Low, 'Reaper' Returns

March 4, 2009 11:05 AM

The final 12 semi-finalists on Fox's "American Idol" sang their way to a new season low for the series, while on The CW's "Reaper" returned on the low side.


Fox won the night with a two-hour "Idol," averaging an 8.9 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 24.2 million viewers. Although it was the No. 1 show for the night, last night's episode marks the season's lowest-rated so far, down 7% from its most recent Tuesday telecast two weeks ago and down 16% from last year's comparable episode.

Head-to-head against "Idol," NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (3.5/9, 9 million) remained flat from last year and down only a tick from its most recent two-hour telecast two weeks ago. Last night's episode grew 29% from the 8 p.m. half-hour to the 9:30 p.m. half-hour. A "Law & Order: SVU" repeat gave the network second place for the night with a 3.2/8 (8.3 million).

ABC wrapped up its "Bachelor: After the Final Rose" special to a strong 4.0/11 (10.9 million), winning the 10 p.m. hour and ranking as the No. 2 show of the night. A new "Homeland Security U.S.A." at 8 p.m. opened the night with a 1.6/4 (5.7 million). Back-to-back repeats of "Scrubs" filled the 9 p.m. hour to give the network fourth overall with a 2.3/6 (6.6 million).

The second-season premiere of "Reaper" bowed on the low side, pulling a 0.9/2 (2.4 million) against "Idol." Last night's episode was down 40% from the show's series opener and matched the show's previous low from May 2008. At 9 p.m. a repeat of "90210" in its new time period helped give the network a 0.7/2 (1.8 million) for the night. Among women 18-34 The CW averaged a 1.0/3.

CBS finished third for the night (2.5/6, 12.3 million) with repeats.

Primetime Preliminary Tuesday Ratings









2.3 / 6

Homeland Security U.S.A.

1.6 / 4

5.7 million


1.2 / 3

3.4 mil


1.3 / 3

3.4 mil

The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, Part 2

4.0 / 11

10.9 million


2.5 / 6


2.6 / 7

13.7 mil

The Mentalist

2.7 / 6

12.8 mil

Without a Trace

2.3 / 6

10.5 mil


8.9 / 23

American Idol

8.9 / 23

24.2 mil

No Programming


3.2 / 8

The Biggest Loser

3.5 / 9

9 mil

Law & Order: SVU

2.4 / 6

7 mil


0.7 / 2


0.9 / 2

2.4 mil


0.5 / 1

1.2 mil

No Programming

Source: Nielsen Media Research

*Ratings are specified in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic and viewership in P2+.

A note about ratings: Ratings are expressed as percentages of Nielsen's estimated 114.5 million U.S. television households. The first number, the rating, is a percentage of households tuned into a specific program at a specific time.

The second number, the share, is a percentage of households with televisions in use tuned into that same program. For example, if a show obtains a 10.2/16, this means that 10.2% of all U.S. households tuned into the program at some point during the broadcast. Meanwhile, 16% of all households watching television during the time period viewed the program at some point. Ratings are broken down further by demographic, as networks sell advertising time based on the makeup of the audience.


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