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Idol Slips; House Builds

We don't know whether it was the much-publicized Paula problems or the fact that Scott was still singing while Constantine was ousted (or perhaps none of the above), but American Idol's ratings were down in the Nielsen overnights Tuesday. The show recorded a 9.7 rating/27 share at 8-9 in the 18-49 demo, compared to a 10.4/29, the week before.

But that was compensated for by first-rate forensic medical drama, House, which recorded a 7/17 in the demo for Fox at 9-10, helping it exactly match last week's 8.4/22 for the night.

NBC was second at a 4.1/11. It's top show was Law & Order: Trial By Jury, which won its 10-11 p.m. time period going away, with a 6.3/16. It needed all of that to compensate for the 1.8/5 it mustered for Outrageous TV Moments at 8-9.

CBS was third with a 3.7/10, thanks to Amazing Race (5.1/12) at 9-10, which was still far behind House in the time period.

ABC was in fourth, with a 2.5/6 for its consistently low-rated sitcom lineup. It was somewhat telling that its second-highest-rated show of the night was its only repeat of the night, According to Jim (3.0/7), which followed the highest rated ABC show, an original Jim that only managed a fourth-place finish. My Wife and Kids continues to struggle at 8, while Blind Justice (2.4/6) has yet to find its audience. By contrast, long-in-the-tooth bloodhound NYPD Blue was still pulling a 3-plus rating in the time period.

If Blind Justice does not build a following, that Tuesday 10-11 slot would seem the perfect spot for Boston Legal next season if ABC keeps Grey's Anatomy at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Legal's old slot.

The WB was fifth (2.2/6) for Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill, while UPN was sixth with a 1.0/3 for All of Us, Eve and Veronica Mars.