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ABC Fox Trots To Victory

ABC's summer empire continues to be built on the fleet feet of John O'Hurly and company.

While its debut of Empire Tuesday was nothing to write home to Rome about, the semifinal of Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) recorded its best 18-49 numbers yet in the Nielsen overnight ratings, averaging a 5.4 rating/16 share and leading ABC to a convincing 3.6/11 on the night for first place.

DWTS was up strongly from its previous overnight high of a 4.7/14 two weeks ago.

ABC won (outright or tied) every half hour of the night with a repeat of last week's Dancing With the Stars at 8 and a repeat of Lost at 10.

NBC was a distant second on the night with a 2.0/6 for back to back repeats of Law & Order and its un-sizzling summer reality series, Psychic Detectives, at 8 (1.5/5 for fourth place).

CBS was third on the night in the 18-49 demo with a 1.9/6. Its top show was a 2.3/7 for a CSI: NY repeat at 10.

Fox just nipped The WB for fourth, with a 1.6/5 on the night. Its top show was a repeat of That 70's Show at 8 (1.8/7), with new summer forensic drama, The Inside, mustering a 1.6/5 about on part with its last two outings but down from its debut (2/6).

The WB was fifth on the night with a 1.5/6, continuing to score with Beauty and the Geek at 8 p.m., which averaged a 1.8/6 for second place among all networks in the time period.

UPN was in last with a .8/3 for repeats of Eve and Veronica Mars.