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Triumphant Return for Fox’s Idol

The return of American Idol gave Fox a decisive, across-the-board win Monday night. CBS and NBC split second place: CBS was No. 2 in households and viewers, NBC in the demos. ABC was fourth for the night.

In the 8-9 p.m. ET hour, the premiere episode of the third installment of Idol was tops in households, total viewers and all the key demos. NBC, with Fear Factor, was second across the board, followed by CBS’s Yes, Dear and Still Standing repeats. ABC was fourth with theatrical movie Meet the Parents.

The strength of Idol carried over to new Fox reality show My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiancé at 9-10 p.m. CBS, with repeats of Everybody Loves Raymond and Two and a Half Men, was No. 2 in households and viewers, though, while NBC’s second hour of Fear Factor took the adults 18-49 and 18-34 demos.

In the 10-11 p.m. hour, CBS was tops in households and viewers with a CSI: Miami repeat. NBC’s Average Joe was No. 1 in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos.

For the night, according to Nielsen overnight affiliate numbers, households: Fox, 11.2 rating/17 share; CBS, 8.3/12; NBC, 7.1/11; ABC, 4.6/7; The WB, 3.1/5; UPN, 1.7/3; Pax, 0.7/1. Adults 18-49: Fox, 8.6/20; NBC, 5.6/13; CBS, 4.3/10; ABC, 2.2/5; The WB, 1.6/4; UPN, 1.0/2; Pax, 0.3/1.

On Sunday night, Fox was a runaway winner with the Carolina Panthers-Philadelphia Eagles NFC Championship Game. According to Nielsen metered-market numbers, the game started out with a 25.0 rating/37 share in the 7-7:30 p.m. ET period and built to a 27.7/36 in the 9-9:30 p.m. period.