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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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'Osbournes' Drops Half of 'Idol' Lead-in, But Fox Wins Night

April 1, 2009 1:02 PM

A special preview of “Osbournes: Reloaded” rode on “American Idol’s” lead-in to give Fox top honors for the night, while the premiere of “Cupid” gave ABC a healthy boost in the time period.

Cupid

“American Idol” scored an 8.6 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 23.5 million viewers from 8-9:30 p.m. (“Idol” ran until 9:26 p.m.), according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Last night’s episode was down 8% from last Wednesday’s performance episode (pushed back a night due to President Obama’s press conference), but it was also up 6% over its most recent Tuesday night telecast. “Osbournes” held on to 48% of “Idol’s” lead-in, scoring a 4.1/10 (9.3 million) in the 9:30-10 p.m. half-hour (“Osbournes” ran from 9:26-10:02 p.m.), making it the second highest-rated show of the night. Several affiliates, particularly in the Central Time zone, preempted the special, although Fox did not release exact numbers. Also, due to the irregular run times, preliminary numbers for Fox are approximate.

A results episode of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (2.9/7, 13 million) dipped 12% from its previous season-to-date average and dropped 26% from last week’s episode alone. The series premiere of “Cupid” at 10 p.m. held 79% of its “Dancing” lead-in to score a 2.3/6 (7.6 million), boosting the network’s “Eli Stone” time-period average by 35%. Last night’s debut, however, was the lowest-rated drama debut of the season for ABC. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Better Off Ted” was a repeat special.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” continued to be a strong contender against “Idol,” with last night’s two-hour episode pulling a 3.5/9 (8.7 million). Last night’s episode was down 15% from last week when it aired at a later time, but up 9% from its last original episode in its regular timeslot two weeks ago. Heading into last night, “Loser” has been up 17% for the season to date compared with the same time period last year. At 10 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU” scored a 3.4/9 (9.3 million) to win the 10 p.m. hour.

CBS’ Tuesday night dramas also returned to some regularity after last week’s presidential shuffle. “NCIS” (3.4/9, 16.8 million), “The Mentalist” (3.8/9, 16.9 million) and “Without a Trace” (2.8/8, 12.7 million) were all up from original telecasts in their regular timeslots two weeks go (up 10%, 15% and 12%, respectively). However, both “NCIS” and “The Mentalist” were down a bit from last week’s episode that aired at a later time. “The Mentalist” was the most-watched show in the 9 p.m. hour and “Without a Trace” had its best performance in seven weeks.

The CW’s “90210” returned after a seven-week hiatus to a 1.1/3 (2 million). Last night’s episode was the first original in its new 9 p.m. hour, performing on par with the show’s performances in January when “Idol” debuted. The show also improved on its “Reaper” (1.0/3, 2.4 million) lead-in by 10% in the demo. The network averaged a 1.5/4 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox finished on top (7.5/19, 19.9 million), followed by NBC (3.5/9, 8.9 million), CBS (3.3/9, 15.5 million), ABC (2.0/5, 8 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2.2 million).

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