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American Idol 5 : Fox wins big with 'American Idol' finale
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From: Shadowfax  (Original Message)Sent: 5/31/2006 11:08 PM
Fox wins big with 'American Idol' finale

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television WriterWed May 31, 1:56 PM ET

Fox was triumphant in the TV ratings with the finale of "American Idol," and got a jumpstart on the summer season.

An estimated 36.4 million people watched Taylor Hicks voted as the fifth "American Idol." On May 24 ?the final day of the traditional TV season ?it was the third-biggest audience for a televised event this year after the Super Bowl and Academy Awards.

Fox premiered the summertime competition "So You Think You Can Dance" the next night. Although that audience was only 10.7 million, it ranked 14th among last week's prime-time shows ?a promising start for a summer series, according to Nielsen Media Research.

For the week, Fox averaged 14.8 million viewers (8.8 rating, 16 share). CBS was a distant second with 9 million viewers (6.0, 10), followed by ABC at 7.3 million (4.8, 8), NBC at 6.3 million (4.3, 8), UPN at 2.1 million (1.4, 2), the WB at 1.9 million (1.3, 2) and the i network at 400,000 (0.3, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision had 3.3 million viewers (1.7, 3), Telemundo had 780,000 (0.5, 1) and TeleFutura had 500,000 (0.3, 1).

Elizabeth Vargas had a solid performance in her final week as ABC's "World News Tonight" anchor, with Charles Gibson taking over that job on Memorial Day. ABC was in its closest competitive position to first-place NBC's "Nightly News" since August.

"Nightly News" averaged 7.8 million viewers (5.6, 12), "World News Tonight had 7.5 million (5.3, 11) and the "CBS Evening News" 7 million (4.9, 10).

A ratings point represents 1,102,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 110.2 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 22-28, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 36.38 million; "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 31.78 million; "House," Fox, 25.47 million; "CSI: Miami," CBS, 19.96 million; "Lost," ABC, 17.84 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 15.51 million; "Deal or No Deal" (Monday), NBC, 14.21 million; "24," Fox, 13.75 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 13.28 million; "The New Adventures of Old Christine," CBS, 13.06 million.

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