Fox’s ‘Idol’ Sings Past Olympics on Valentine’s Day

Feb 15, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Fox’s “American Idol” was the big winner Tuesday, with numbers for the musical reality series more than doubling the numbers for NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in the adults 18 to 49 demographic.

The hour-long “Idol” at 8 p.m. (ET) scored an 11.4 in the demo, a rating that includes live-plus-same-day viewing, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC’s fifth night of coverage of the games from Turin, Italy, scored a 5.6 in adults 18 to 49, the lowest ratings so far for the 2006 Olympics.

“Idol” lead-out “House” also eclipsed the Winter Games with a 7.7 in the demo. Despite the competition, NBC still outperformed its Tuesday night demo average for the season by 86 percent.

The WB had a small victory of its own with its 8 p.m. drama “Gilmore Girls,” which garnered a 3.5 in women 18 to 34. That was below “Idol’s” dominant 12.9 rating in women 18 to 34 during the hour but still above the Olympics’ 3.1 rating in young adult women at 8 p.m.

Special Valentine’s Day programming did not boost ratings, with ABC’s animated “Charlie Brown Valentine” at 8 p.m. hitting the previous week’s average (2.1) for usual time period holder “According to Jim.” CBS’s 9 p.m. special “Dr. Phil: Love Smart,” which featured “Idol” judge Paula Abdul in consultation with syndicated host Phil McGraw, scored a 2.9 in the demo, 15 percent below the season program average in the time period.

Fox won the night in the demo with a 9.6, followed by NBC (5.6), ABC (2.6), CBS (2.5), The WB (1.9) and UPN (0.4).