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Fox Cruises to Big Win With 'MasterChef' Twin Bill -- How Much Did Paula Deen Have to Do With It? LA Times, TVbytheNumbers

With controversial TV chef Paula Deen in the lineup Wednesday night, Fox rode back-to-back episodes of "MasterChef" to an easy win in the broadcast ratings, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the demo number for the 9 p.m. episode -- the one featuring Deen -- was a 2.4, equaling last week, but total viewers rose 13% to 6.3 million. The show's 2.4 average made it the top program of the night in the demo. The Deen episode was taped in March, before a scandal erupted over Deen's use of the N-word.

Fox's Deen-free 8 p.m. episode of "MasterChef" lost ground from its previous original airing in the time slot, TVbytheNumbers.com reports. The show slipped two-tenths in viewers 18-49 to a 2.0. Still, the double-header was easily enough to lift Fox over its broadcast competition, with much of the lineup on the other networks consisting of repeat programming.

NBC did put up a fresh installment of "America's Got Talent," which ticked up one-tenth from last week's season low to a 2.2 average in the 18-49 demo, TVbytheNumbers notes. "Talent" was by far the top show of broadcast prime in total viewers, averaging 9.69 million.

NBC also rolled out a new episode of "Camp," which matched its series low from last week in the 18-49 demo, a 0.9.

CBS broke out a new "Big Brother," which fell two-tenths from a week ago to a 2.0 in 18-49. ABC's only new program, the newsmagazine "The Lookout," rose one-tenth from last week's series low to a 0.8.

When all was said and done, Fox's 2.2 average rating for prime time in adults 18-49 was easily good enough to win the night among the broadcast nets, with second place going to NBC (1.5 average), followed by Univision (1.3), CBS (1.3) and ABC (0.8). NBC came out on top in total viewers with 6.4 million, followed by Fox (5.8 million), CBS (5.5 million), Univision (3.3 million) and ABC (3.2 million).