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'Idol' helps Fox end CBS' streak

May 29, 2009|City News Service

Although it drew its smallest audience since 2004, viewership for the "American Idol" finale significantly surpassed its competition last week and helped Fox end CBS' 11-week streak as the most-watched network.

An average of 28.84 million people tuned in to see Kris Allen named "Idol" champion, 9% fewer than the 31.66 million who watched last year when David Cook won the singing competition. But it was still 8.5 million more viewers than for last week's most-watched non-"Idol" program, the finale of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

The dancing competition series was third for the week with 20.31 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

For its eighth season as a whole, "American Idol" averaged 26.2 million viewers, 7% fewer than last season's 28.2 million, but it remained television's most-watched series.

Fox averaged 10.19 million viewers in a week that mixed the final three days of the official television season and the first four days of the summer season.

CBS was second with 8.89 million, bolstered by the week's eight most-watched scripted programs.

Viewers preferred familiar programming to a pair of premieres of scripted programs last week. Fox's "Glee" was third in its 9-10 p.m. time slot last Tuesday and 14th for the week with 9.62 million viewers, retaining 40% of the final "Idol" performance show audience. The opening two hours of ABC's U.S. premiere of the four-hour made-for-television movie "Diamonds," with 4.06 million viewers, was a distant second in its 9-11 p.m. time slot Sunday and 54th for the week among programs on the five major networks and the Spanish-language Univision.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (May. 18-24) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 286 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions

*--* -- Program Network Viewers *--*

*--* 1 American Idol (Wed.) FOX 28.84 2 American Idol (Tue.) FOX 23.82 3 Dancing With the Stars (results) ABC 20.31 4 Dancing With the Stars ABC 19.17 5 The Mentalist CBS 16.82 *--*

*--* 6 NCIS CBS 16.50 7 Two and a Half Men CBS 16.18 8 CSI: Miami CBS 14.20 9 Criminal Minds CBS 13.99 10 Rules of Engagement CBS 12.87 *--*

*--* 11 Without a Trace CBS 11.21 12 CSI CBS 9.88 13 24 FOX 9.64 14 Glee (Preview) (Tue., 9 p.m.) FOX 9.62 15 So You Think You Can Dance (Thu.) FOX 8.85 *--*

*--* 16 How I Met Your Mother CBS 8.73 -- NBA Playoffs: Lakers at Nuggets (Sat.) ABC 8.73 18 The Bachelorette ABC 8.69 19 60 Minutes CBS 8.14 20 Dancing With the Stars (Tue.) ABC 7.65 *--*

*--* 21 Rules of Engagement CBS 7.50 22 Flashpoint (Thu.) CBS 7.37 23 NCIS (Thu., 8 p.m.) CBS 7.34 24 Cold Case CBS 7.01 25 Law & Order: SVU NBC 6.92 *--*

*--* 26 Law & Order NBC 6.67 27 Medium NBC 6.56 28 Flashpoint CBS 6.50 29 Southland NBC 6.45 30 Numb3rs CBS 6.39 *--*

*--* 31 Ugly Betty ABC 6.27 32 Ghost Whisperer CBS 5.91 33 48 Hours Mystery CBS 5.61 34 The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS 5.55 35 Gary Unmarried CBS 5.52 *--*

*--* 36 Deal or No Deal (Mon.) NBC 5.39 37 Manana Para Siempre (Mon.) UNI 5.16 38 Million Dollar Password CBS 5.11 39 Manana Para Siempre (Tue.) UNI 5.10 40 Law & Order: CI (Wed.) NBC 5.04 *--*

*--* 41 The Unit CBS 4.92 42 Dateline (Fri.) NBC 4.79 43 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 4.66 44 Manana Para Siempre (Thu.) UNI 4.64 45 Dateline (Sun., 7 p.m.) NBC 4.63 *--*

*--* 46 20/20 (Fri.) ABC 4.50 47 Manana Para Siempre (Wed.) UNI 4.46 48 Law & Order (Sat.) NBC 4.42 49 Manana Para Siempre (Fri.) UNI 4.41 50 Cristina (Mon.) UNI 4.36 *--*

*--* -- Deal or No Deal (Mon.) NBC 4.36 52 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8 p.m.) ABC 4.34 53 Law & Order: SVU (Wed., 9 p.m.) NBC 4.32 54 Movie: "Diamonds" (Part 1, Sun.) ABC 4.06 55 Cops 2 FOX 4.01 *--*

*--* 56 Cuidado con el Angel (Mon.) UNI 4.00 57 Movie: "The Last Templar" (Sat.) NBC 3.87 58 Crimetime Saturday CBS 3.85 59 Cuidado con el Angel (Tue.) UNI 3.83 60 Cuidado con el Angel (Wed.) UNI 3.69 *--*

*--* 61 America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back FOX 3.65 62 Law & Order: SVU (Tue., 9 p.m.) NBC 3.48 63 Cuidado con el Angel (Thu.) UNI 3.46 64 Grey's Anatomy (Thu.) ABC 3.46 65 Movie: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ABC 3.41 *--*

*--* 66 Cuidado con el Angel (Fri.) UNI 3.35 -- Office NBC 3.35 68 Cops FOX 3.30 69 30 Rock NBC 3.29 70 Aqui y Ahora (Tue.) UNI 3.28 *--*

*--* 71 The Simpsons FOX 3.26 72 My Name Is Earl NBC 3.22 73 Don't Forget the Lyrics FOX 3.21 74 Mujeres Asesinas (Thu.) UNI 3.19 75 Law & Order: CI (Sat.) NBC 3.13 *--*

*--* 76 Don Francisco Presenta (Wed.) UNI 3.13 77 Tontas No Van Cielo (Mon.) UNI 3.10 78 House (Fri., 9 p.m.) FOX 3.07 79 Rosa de Guadalupe (Fri.) UNI 3.06 80 Wife Swap ABC 3.01 *--*

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