‘Idol’ and ‘Fringe’ slip; octuplet mom wins hour

Toomanybabies CBS returned to all-originals Tuesday night, tightening the competitive field.

Fox dominated once again, but the second Hollywood week of “American Idol” (24.5 million,  9.0 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and 24 share) was down 10% from last week. “Fringe” (10.5 million, 4.3/11) slipped 14% while facing CBS’ “The Mentalist” for the first time since the Fox drama gained an “Idol” lead-in. There’s a minute of “Idol” in “Fringe,” and it’s too early to say which show received the higher rating.

CBS and NBC tied for second place, with NBC boosted by a “Dateline” (11.3 million, 4.0/11) interview with a Southern California mother of octuplets. “Dateline” gave NBC the 10 p.m. hour and was the fourth highest-rated show of the night. Put another way: the ultra-reproductive mom drew a bigger rating than Sunday’s “60 Minutes” exclusive interview with the pilot who landed an Airbus 320 on the Hudson River. (“Jay Leno should get the octuplet mom as his co-host next fall,” emailed one joker this morning). The 100th episode of “The Biggest Loser” (9.3 million, 3.7/9) served as lead-in, shedding 8% from its last airing.

CBS’ “NCIS” (17.9 million, 3.7/10) was down 8% from its last episode. Yet “The Mentalist” (19.7 million, 4.2/10) was up 11% from its last regularly scheduled airing and had its largest total audience to date. “Mentalist” was last seen hitting a season high during a special airing after the AFC Championship Game last month. The procedural boosted “Without a Trace” (14.6 million, 3.5/9) by 27% this week to hit a season high. 

In fourth, ABC aired back-to-back Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day specials (4.9 million, 1.5/4) followed by back-to-back episodes of “Scrubs” (4.4 million, 2.0/5). At 10 p.m., since the president’s press conference bumped “True Beauty” (1.6/4) from the air Monday, ABC rescheduled the reality contest for last night. The network got to see how the show performs without a “Bachelor” lead-in and the result wasn’t pretty, hitting a season low.

The CW aired “90210” (2.4 million, 1.2/3) and “Privileged” (1.5 million, 0.7/2), both slipping a bit from last week, but at their second-highest since “Idol” started.

UPDATE: In the nationals, “Mentalist” (4.2) edged out “Fringe” (4.1) despite the Fox show having a push from “American Idol” (which climbed to a 9.2). 

Original Article


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