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The first direct clash this spring between American Idol and Dancing With The Stars was no contest. Idol buried Dancing head to head at 9pm, more than tripling its adult demos and pushing Dancing to its lowest rated regularly scheduled episode ever. Even winning the night, with all the competition Fox was down 1.3 ratings points in both demos for the night  from last week.  It was also the worst Tuesday performance for Idol since its first season.

Update (from Seidman): ABC tries to spin straw into gold by saying the night was its best Tuesday in two months. NBC actually has more to crow about (The Biggest Loser did best DWTS in key demos) but so far I haven’t seen the NBC version of Rumpelstiltskin’s daughter.

Sharing the pain, CBS’s full line-up, back with all new episodes for the first time since February 17, also suffered mightily, pushed down to season lows. NBC too got hurt, down 0.4 ratings points in both demos from last week. The only thing reasonably stable was CW’s Reaper, with nearly identical demos from last week although those numbers may not be enough to keep it around for next season.

You can see past Tuesday overnight TV ratings reports here.

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (000) 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share
8:00 FOX American Idol 19,056 6.9 21 5.3 19
  CBS NCIS 15,209 3.0 9 2.1 7
  ABC Dancing With The Stars Recap 7,536 1.6 5 1.3 4
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples 6,849 2.6 8 1.9 7
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel 4,317 1.7 5 1.9 7
  CW Reaper 1,954 0.9 3 0.9 3
8:30 FOX American Idol 21,774 8.0 22 6.2 20
  CBS NCIS 15,813 3.2 9 2.0 6
  ABC Dancing With The Stars Recap 8,704 1.8 5 1.4 4
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples 7,603 3.0 8 2.3 7
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel 4,784 1.9 5 2.0 7
  CW Reaper 1,809 0.8 2 0.9 3
9:00 FOX American Idol 22,645 8.5 22 6.5 20
  CBS The Mentalist 15,287 3.2 8 2.0 6
  ABC Dancing With The Stars 12,323 2.6 7 2.0 6
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples 8,076 3.3 9 2.5 7
  UNI Mañana Es para Siempre 4,716 2.0 5 2.1 7
  CW 90210 (repeat) 810 0.4 1 0.4 1
9:30 FOX American Idol 22,669 8.7 22 6.8 20
  CBS The Mentalist 15,498 3.2 8 2.0 6
  ABC Dancing With The Stars 12,521 2.8 7 2.1 6
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples 9,093 3.8 10 2.9 9
  UNI Mañana Es para Siempre 5,011 2.1 5 2.3 7
  CW 90210 (repeat) 717 0.3 1 0.3 1
10:00 CBS Without a Trace 12,362 2.6 7 1.5 5
  NBC Law & Order: SVU 10,211 3.4 9 2.7 9
  ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 9,078 2.6 7 1.9 6
  UNI Aqui y Ahora 3,589 1.5 4 1.5 5
10:30 CBS Without a Trace 11,608 2.5 7 1.3 4
  NBC Law & Order: SVU 10,951 3.5 10 2.8 9
  ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 6,526 2.0 6 1.4 5
  UNI Aqui y Ahora 2,763 1.0 3 1.1 4

Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. 


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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