Of course, American Idol and Fringe won the night for Fox on Tuesday. NBC finished a solid second helped by a strong Law & Order: SVU. With all new episodes, CBS was not far behind in third, while ABC’s Tuesday drubbings continued as Cupid’s ratings crashed.

Fox’s numbers for the night were nearly identical to last Tuesday’s TV ratings, but Fringe was up two ticks in the 18-49 demo. I’ll expect the “how many angels fit on the head of a pin” commenters to again rehash whether it’s a hit or not.

For NBC, Biggest Loser was down slightly in the demo from last week, but a stronger than average new Law & Order: SVU boosted the net 0.4 demo ratings points over last Tuesday overall. With all new episodes for the first time since April 7, CBS’s overall ratings were nearly identical to that night.

ABC has likely given up on  Tuesdays for the rest of the season, as I probably would if I were them. There’s no hope for Cupid, a 1.5 demo rating in its last half hour spells graveyard.

After holding up against Idol for many weeks, it’s as if the demo audience of Reaper just gave up last night in the second half hour and exclaimed “What’s the use!”. Perhaps infected by the malaise, 90210 was down sharply in the demos as well vs. last week. Update: We’re advised that 90210 was pre-empted in Chicago last night by basketball a Cubs game, so its overnight numbers are subject to more than the typical revisions before the final numbers.

It’s likely that the numbers for the first half hours of Fringe and Cupid have a few minutes of viewership from Idol and Dancing in them. Those will be removed in the final numbers.

You can see past Tuesday overnight TV ratings reports here.

Full details:

      18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share  Viewers Live+SD (000)
8:00 FOX American Idol  7.3 22  5.6 19  21.020
  CBS NCIS  3.2 9  2.0 7  15.555
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  2.9 9  2.4 8  7.994
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel  1.4 4  1.6 5  3.519
  ABC According to Jim  0.9 3  0.5 2  3.427
  CW Reaper  0.8 2  0.7 2  1.953
8:30 FOX American Idol  8.4 22  6.3 19  24.059
  CBS NCIS  3.6 10  2.3 7  17.091
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  3.3 9  2.7 8  8.704
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel  1.7 4  1.7 5  4.121
  ABC According to Jim  1.0 3  0.6 2  3.707
  CW Reaper  0.6 2  0.5 2  1.684
9:00 FOX Fringe  4.6 12  3.7 10  11.836
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  4.0 10  3.1 9  10.189
  CBS The Mentalist  3.5 9  2.3 6  16.667
  ABC Dancing With the Stars: Results  3.1 8  2.1 6  13.489
  UNI Mañana Es Para Siempre  1.9 5  2.0 6  4.555
  CW 90210  0.9 2  1.1 3  1.761
9:30 NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  4.4 11  3.4 9  10.816
  FOX Fringe  3.9 9  3.1 9  9.389
  CBS The Mentalist  3.8 9  2.4 7  17.142
  ABC Dancing With the Stars: Results  3.3 8  2.2 6  15.044
  UNI Mañana Es Para Siempre  2.0 5  2.1 6  4.779
  CW 90210  0.9 2  1.2 3  1.838
10:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU  3.8 10  3.4 10  10.288
  CBS Without A Trace  2.6 7  1.6 5  12.561
  ABC Cupid  2.0 5  1.6 5  7.255
  UNI Aqui y Ahora  1.8 5  1.9 5  4.236
10:30 NBC Law & Order: SVU  4.0 11  3.4 10  10.172
  CBS Without A Trace  2.5 7  1.6 5  12.137
  ABC Cupid  1.5 4  1.2 4  5.057
  UNI Aqui y Ahora  1.3 4  1.4 4  3.277

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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