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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’ Has Strong Finish, CBS Season Finales Sag

May 21, 2009 11:25 AM

The season finale of Fox’s “American Idol” easily claimed Wednesday night, while season finales on CBS tried to hold their own.

American Idol

Fox’s “Idol” scored a 10.0 rating among adults 18 to 49 and 28.8 million viewers, according to special time-zone-adjusted preliminary figures from Nielsen ordered by the network (all other networks’ numbers are regular Fast Nationals). For more on how “Idol” stacked up, click here.

CBS kicked off its night with the season finales of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (1.6/5, 5.6 million) and “Gary Unmarried” (1.7/5, 5.5 million), which hit series lows facing fierce competition. The two-hour finale of “Criminal Minds” bounced back in its 10 p.m. hour after competing against “Idol” to average out at a 3.4/9 (13.8 million) and remain flat with last week.

NBC aired a repeat of USA original “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” followed by a repeat of “Law & Order: SVU.” At 10 p.m., a new “Law & Order” (1.9/5, 6.7 million) was off 14% from last week.

ABC aired the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” while The CW aired “Take the Lead.”

For the night: Fox (9.5/27, 27.7 million in Fast Nationals; 10.0, 28.8 in time-zone-adjusted figures) claimed the final night of the regular TV season, followed by CBS (2.8/8, 11.1 million), NBC (1.3/4, 5.3 million), ABC (1.2/3, 3.4 million) and The CW (0.4/1, 1.3 million).

Final Nationals update (2 p.m.): Both CBS' "Criminal Minds" (3.5/9) and NBC's "Law & Order" (2.0/5) climbed one-tenth of a rating point, while the network average for CBS (2.9/8) also climbed by as much.

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