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Idol Wins Ratings Race; Bush Nabs Most Viewers

American Idol belted its way to another win Tuesday night as the top-rated show of the night with an average 12 rating/30 share in the 18-49 demo for the 8-9 time slot, according to Nielsen Fast Affiliate overnight ratings (preliminary). It by far bested any of the networks' ratings for President Bush's State of the Union address, although the address got a larger audience overall, with all of the networks combined.

Idol led Fox to a win for the night with a 6.3/16. It also helped Fox notch the highest average rating for the State of the Union address and the Democratic response, which aired on all the networks except for UPN, The WB and Univision between 9-11. Fox clocked an average 4/10 for the first hour of the address, in which Bush spoke, and a 2.8/7 for the second hour, when Virgina Governor Tim Kaine gave the Democratic response to the speech.

The second-highest rated show in the 9-10 time slot was not any of the other networks’ airing of Bush’s speech. The WB benefited from counter-programming, averaging a 2.6/6 for an original episode of Supernatural. It was The WB’s highest-rated show of the night, and it helped the network tie ABC for a distant second for the night with a 2.1/5.

There was another tie between NBC and CBS for a fourth-place 2.0/5. NBC scored a 2.2/5 for Bush's speech and a 2/5 for Kaine's response. CBS scored a 1.9/4 for Bush's speech and a 1.3/3 for the response. Its highest-rated program for the night was a repeat of NCIS from 8-9; it averaged a 2.6/6.

Univision’s lineup of telenovelas gave it a sixth-place finish with a 1.9/5, while UPN brought up the rear with a 0.9/2 for its lineup of sitcoms and a repeat of Veronica Mars, its highest-rated show for the night at a 0.9/2.