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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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Obama Effect Boosts Tuesday Night Ratings

March 25, 2009 10:52 AM

President Barack Obama’s primetime schedule shuffle served as a strong lead-in across the broadcast networks, while reality competition series on NBC and ABC benefited greatly from an “Idol”-less night. Dancing With the Stars

For the four major broadcast networks combined, live coverage of President Obama’s press conference from 8-9 p.m. EDT Tuesday drew a total 21.1 household rating among the overnight metered markets and a combined 7.9 rating/24 share among adults 18-49 and 31.3 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. NBC (2.2/7, 8.3 million) had the highest rating for the hour, with ABC (2.0/6, 8.7 million) and CBS (2.0/6, 9.9 million) tied for second, followed by Fox (1.7/5, 4.3 million). Final numbers for the broadcast networks will be sustained when Nielsen releases updated figures later Wednesday.

From 9-11 p.m., NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (4.1/11, 9.8 million) benefited greatly from President Obama’s press conference, which shuffled Fox’s “American Idol” to Wednesday night. Last night’s “Loser” was up 28% from its 8-10 p.m. airing last week and was the highest-rated episode in eight weeks, pending updates from Nielsen.

ABC, meanwhile, aired a “Dancing With the Stars” results show (3.7/10, 15.7 million) followed by the season finale of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (2.7/7, 8.5 million). Both shows posted gains from last week, with “Dancing” up 32% from its first results show of the season and “Primetime” up 23%.

On CBS, “NCIS” (3.9/10, 17.5 million) was up 26% from last week, while “The Mentalist” (3.8/10, 17.5 million) had a 15% bump.

Fox aired a repeat of “House” in the 9 p.m. hour.

In the 8 p.m. hour, The CW aired a new “Reaper” (1.0/3, 2.5 million) against President Obama’s press conference. Last night’s episode came in as a new season high, up 11% from last week. With a “90210” repeat at 9 p.m., the network averaged a 0.8/2 among women 18-34 for the night.

For the night: NBC (3.5/9, 9.3 million) finished on top while CBS (3.2/9, 15 million) took the most viewers, followed by ABC (2.8/8, 11 million), Fox (1.6/5, 4.2 million) and The CW (0.6/2, 1.7 million).

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