Idol Has NBC's Number

American Idol continued to do a musical number on the Olympics over on NBC, averaging an 11.7 rating/29 share in Nielsen overnight preliminary numbers compared to a 4.1/10 for NBC's Torinocast. In fact, the games lost out to regular programming on the competition in two of the three hours of prime time.

Fox may have been wearing a possum suit when it opined at the beginning of the sweeps about its powerful Peacock competition in the demo, since it has beaten the games with not only Idol but some lead-out programming as well, notably House.

Fox averaged an 8.3/20 on the night to win the 18-49 demo easily, though its Bones lead-out from Idol lost to the Olympics, which built throughout the night.

NBC was second with a 5.5/13 in the demo.

ABC was a competitive third at a 4.6/11 on the strength of Lost, which beat Olympics coverage at 9-10 with a 7.6/17 to NBC's 6.1/14.

CBS was a distant fourth, with a 2.9/7. Its top show was a repeat of CSI: NY at 10 (3.7/9).

Univision was firth with a 1.9/5, followed by The WB at a 1.3/3. UPN barely registered at a .4/1.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.