'Idol' Doesn't Miss a Beat as Fox Wins

Rash Report: Megahit Matches Last Year's Rating in Key Demo

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MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) -- "American Idol," Fox's human magnet, helped "Human Target," Fox's new drama, out-deliver its Sunday series premiere by 17% in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic, as both combined to deliver a 6.7/18 rating and share in the demo. This easily beat CBS (3.2/9), ABC (2.4/7), NBC (1.3/4) and the CW (0.5/1).

'Human Target'
'Human Target' Credit: Fox
"Idol" continued to shine, and live up to its "Death Star" moniker rival networks have given it, as the 9.9/27 was actually up a tenth of a ratings point from last year's second Wednesday telecast. But despite the ratings rise for "Human Target" (3.4/9) from Sunday, the show did lose two thirds of its "Idol" lead-in audience, suggesting it's unlikely to be a breakout hit.

Indeed, "Human Target" finished third in the 9 p.m. hour, behind CBS's "Criminal Minds" and ABC's "Modern Family," which each notched a 4.2/11 and had their highest ratings since their season premieres. "Modern Family's" lead-out, "Cougar Town" (3.4/9) had its best week since its second episode.

CBS kept the media momentum at 10 p.m. with "CSI: NY," which won its timeslot with a 3.5/10. But ABC lost more than half its audience, as "Ugly Betty" delivered a 1.6/4 for the third week in a row.

Both networks ran sitcoms in the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. hour, with CBS running originals ("The New Adventures of Old Christine," 1.9/5, and "Gary Unmarried," 1.8/5) and ABC running reruns ("Modern Family," 1.6/5, and "The Middle," 1.7/4).

The CW also ran repeats, with "Life Unexpected" (0.6/2) and "Gossip Girl" (0.3/1).

Rash gridsEnlarge
See how all the shows did in the ratings.

As for NBC, its prime-time programming magnets didn't attract, but mostly repelled: "Mercy" (1.4/4) lost to ABC's reruns, let alone CBS's originals and "Idol." Right after, a repeat of "Law and Order: SVU" delivered the same rating. And Jay Leno, who may have felt like a human target himself, considering the on-air pummeling from his hosting brethren, could only deliver a 1.2/4 for the soon-to-end "Jay Leno Show."

Thursday: ABC tries again for a more compatible lead-in to "Grey's Anatomy" with "The Deep End," which seems like "Grey's," only the young characters have traded in surgical scrubs for lawyer's sharp suits.
Friday: Eleven networks, multiple performers and one big goal: to help Haiti. "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" begins at 8 p.m.

A ratings rise for "Grey's Anatomy," as star Katherine Heigl (Izzie) returns.

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NOTE: All ratings based on adults 18-49. A share is a percentage of adults 18-49 who have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all adults 18-49, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. adults 18-49 population with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)

John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see rashreport.com.

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