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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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‘Loser’ Looks Huge in Finale, but ‘Idol’ Wins Night

May 13, 2009 10:55 AM

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” soared for its season finale Tuesday, giving the network its best non-Olympics Tuesday night in three and a half years. However, Fox won the night thanks to “American Idol.”

American Idol

The three-hour season finale of “Biggest Loser” on NBC averaged a 4.7 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 11.8 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Overall, last night’s episode was the No. 2 show of the night (right behind “Idol”), but it won both the 9 and 10 p.m. hours (scoring a 5.1/13 and a 5.4/14, respectively) in direct competition with the Fox juggernaut.

The “Loser” finale also gave the network its best Tuesday night rating since early December 2005 (excluding Olympics). Tuesday night’s finale also posted gains compared with the spring 2008 finale (up 7%) and the fall 2008 finale (up 2%).

Fox’s “American Idol” scored a 7.7/22 (21.8 million viewers) in the 8 p.m. hour. Last night’s episode was down 7% from last week, although that number will get smaller once final national figures are released (which predict “Idol” reaching an 8.1 or 8.2 rating). “Idol’s “ four-minute overrun also will affect figures for the “Fringe” season finale, which currently stands at 4.5/11 (11.2 million), up 18% from last week; final projections come in at about a 4.1, which is still an increase over last week.

A “Dancing With the Stars” results show on ABC scored a 3.1/8 (13.8 million), down slightly from last week (3%). At 10 p.m., “Cupid” (1.6/4, 5.5 million) was in line with its season-to-date average, coming in flat with last week. The network kicked off the night with back-to-back episodes of “According to Jim” (1.0/3, 3.9 million, and 1.1/3, 3.9 million).

Going up against NBC’s and Fox’s heavy hitters, CBS’ “NCIS” (3.2/9, 15.8 million) and “The Mentalist” (3.3/8, 16.1 million) both posted weekly declines, coming in 14% and 11% below their season-to-date averages. “Without a Trace” (2.8/7, 13.4 million) was up 8% from last week to finish in second place for the hour.

The CW’s “Reaper” (0.9/3, 2 million) increased 13% over last week and was in line with recent performances, while “90210” (1.1/3, 2.1 million) posted a 22% gain from last week and scored its best performance of the season in the 9 p.m. hour. The network averaged a 1.8/5 among women 18-34.

For the night: Fox (6.1/16, 16.5 million) was first, followed by NBC (4.7/12, 11.8 million), CBS (3.1/8, 15.1 million), ABC (1.9/5, 7.7 million) and The CW (1.0/3, 2 million)

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