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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,’ ‘Fringe’ Give Fox the Win; Duff Spot Boosts ‘SVU’

April 29, 2009 11:29 AM

Fox won Wednesday night thanks to a strong “Idol”-“Fringe” pairing, while Hilary Duff helped NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” post its second-best rating of the season and its highest since early January.

Fringe

Fox led the way with a Rat Pack-themed performance edition of “American Idol,” which scored a 7.9 rating/22 share and 22.5 million viewers. While preliminary numbers were low compared with last week, projections for final numbers have “Idol” scoring around an 8.1 or 8.2. Similarly, while “Fringe” (4.2/10, 10.6 million) saw its best performance since early February, its final rating is projected to dip to a 4.0 once “Idol” runover is factored in. The network, however, remains in prime position for No. 1.

NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (3.9/11, 10.5 million), featuring a guest appearance by Ms. Duff, dominated the 10 p.m. hour. Last night’s episode posted an 18% increase over the show’s last original telecast earlier this month. From 8-10 p.m., “The Biggest Loser” (3.6/10, 9.4 million) was about on par with recent performances.

Some of CBS’ Tuesday night dramas were off a bit from recent performances. “NCIS” (3.4/10, 16.3 million) slipped 6% from its last original episode three weeks ago. Last night’s episode featuring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J was the first of a two-part arc for a potential series spinoff. “Without a Trace” (2.5/7, 12.3 million) took a 17% dip from its last new telecast two weeks ago, although it ranked as the most watched show in the hour. Similarly, “The Mentalist” (3.7/9, 16.9 million) was the most watched show in the 9 p.m. hour, posting a one-tenth of a point increase over last week.

On ABC, a results episode of “Dancing With the Stars” (3.2/8, 14.3 million) was flat from last week. At 10 p.m., “Cupid” (1.7/5, 6.2 million) gave the network a slight bump over last week’s telecast of “The Unusuals” in the timeslot, coming in flat from its last original airing two weeks ago. The network aired back-to-back episodes of “According to Jim” (0.9/3, 3.4 million, and 1.0/3, 3.7 million) in the 8 p.m. hour.

The CW’s “Reaper” (0.7/2, 1.8 million) and “90210” (0.9/2, 1.8 million) both came in slightly lower than recent performances. The network averaged a 1.1/3 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox was first with a 6.0/16 (16.6 million), followed by NBC (3.7/10, 9.8 million), CBS (3.2/8, 15.2 million), ABC (2.0/5, 8 million) and The CW (0.8/2, 1.8 million).

Final Nationals update (2:20 p.m.): As expected, Fox’s “American Idol” wrapped up the night with an 8.1/23. “Fringe” came down to a 4.0/10, giving the network an overall 6.1/16 for the night. ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” bumped up to a 3.3/8, while “Castle” slipped to a 1.6/4. CBS’ “NCIS” came in with a 3.5/10.

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