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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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Fox, ABC Shows Win Night Despite Series-Low Ratings; ‘Unusuals’ Bow Weak

April 9, 2009 11:50 AM

Fox and ABC took the top spots Wednesday night even though their programs recorded ratings lows across the board, including ABC’s premiere of “The Unusuals.”

The Unusuals

Fox’s “Lie to Me” scored a 2.5 rating/8 share and 8.4 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode tied the show’s previous series low, taking a 4% dip from last week. At 9 p.m., an “American Idol” results episode (7.8/20, 22.4 million) tied for this season’s lowest-rated Wednesday episode. “Idol” was down 7% from last week’s edition. Both Fox shows ranked No. 1 in their respective hours.

ABC’s “Lost” (3.7/9, 8.3 million) came in at a series low (excluding clips shows), down 21% from its previous season-to-date average. “The Unusuals” debuted at 10 p.m. with a 2.2/6 (6.8 million), losing 41% of its “Lost” lead-in to come in as the network’s lowest-rated in-season premiere for a drama. “Unusuals” did, however, boost the network’s time-period average with regular programming by 16%, its ratings in line with the January season premieres of “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Life on Mars” in the timeslot. ABC kicked off its night with “Scrubs” (1.8/6, 4.7 million) and “Better Off Ted” (1.7/5, 4.2 million), which both posted series lows.

On NBC, the season (and possibly series) finale of “Life” came in with a series low of 1.3/3 (4.5 million), down 13% from last week. At 8 and 10 p.m., episodes of “Law & Order” were repeats.

CBS kicked off the night with “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (2.1/7, 7.3 million) and “Gary Unmarried” (2.2/7, 7.3 million), both which were in line with recent originals. “Criminal Minds” scored a 3.2/8 (13.3 million), while “CSI: NY” (3.3/9, 12.5 million) also was on par with recent episodes and won the 10 p.m. hour.

The CW ran a new episode of “America’s Next Top Model” (1.7/5, 3.7 million), tying with ABC and edging out NBC for the 8 p.m. hour. A special recap episode (0.9/2, 2 million) aired at 9 p.m. The network averaged a 2.2/6 among women 18-34 overall.

For the night: Fox finished first (5.2/14, 15.4 million), followed by CBS (2.9/8, 11 million), ABC (2.6/7, 6.5 million), The CW (1.3/4, 2.9 million) and NBC (1.2/3, 4.9 million).

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