Pamela Beats Paris

Pamela Anderson trumped Paris Hilton Wednesday night.

The debut of the Anderson-starring Fox sitcom, Stacked (about a book store, if you were thinking of something else), averaged a 3.6 rating/10 share in the 18-49 demo in Nielsen overnight ratings at 8:30-9.

It came in second for that half hour behind a surprisingly strong showing from NBC's Nightline, but up sharply from the Simple Life episode (2.7/8) that aired in the time period the week before and from its Simple Life lead-in at 8 (2.8/9).

Fox won the night, averaging a 6.9/8 thanks to an attenuated (hour-long) American Idol vote-off show that averaged a 10.6/26. That is up from last week's 9.9/25, though it is apples to oranges since last week's show was only a half-hour.

Comparing the first half hour of last night's show with last week's half hour, Idol was actually down is down a bit, from a 9.9/25 to a 9.8/25l, but that isn't fair either, since reality show viewing almost always goes up toward the end of the show, when the reveal is revealed or some other climax is reached.

Enough about Idol.

NBC was second for the night with a 4.6/12. Its top show was Law & Order, with a 5.3/14 to win its 10 p.m. time period.

ABC was third on the night in the demo with a 3.0/8. A repeat of Lost (3.2/10) was in the unusual position of losing out to Dateline and in a tie for second at 8-9 with Fox. Dateline was up significantly, with a 3.4/10 vs. a 2.8/8 last week.

CBS was in fourth with a 2.5/7. Helping drag down the average was 60 Minutes Wednesday (1.4/4), which was in sixth place in its time period behind even The WB and UPN.

UPN was fifth with a 1.7/5 on the strength of Next Top Model, its top show along with WWE Wrestling, while The WB was sixth with a 1.1/3 for Smallville (1.6/5) and the critically praised, little-watched Jack & Bobby (.7/2)

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.