'Idol' Slows 'Dancing' Down

What a difference one day makes for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

After soaring the first two weeks worth of shows--culminating with a big Nielsen 6.8 rating/16 share among 18-49 viewers on Monday night--Stars" lost more than half its audience for its results show on Tuesday night. Preliminary results show that "Stars" only pulled in a humbling 2.7/7 rating.

Who is to blame for such a big drop? "American Idol," which earned an 8.0 rating/ 22 share. The two reality heavyweights went head to head in the two-hour time period from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

"Stars" went with a "recap" episode in the first hour, earning a 1.7 rating/5 share, against 7.5/22 for "Idol." "Stars" picked up a bit during the main results part of the night--9 p.m. to 10 p.m.--to a 2.7/7, landing at an unusual fourth place on the night.

"Idol" wasn't only to blame--a number of other shows pushed "Stars" down. CBS' new hit drama "The Mentalist" and NBC's "The Biggest Loser: Couples" (in a two-hour edition of its own) both beat "Stars" with a 3.2/8 and 3.2/9 share, respectively. To be fair, results shows don't generally perform to the same levels as performance shows -- that includes "Idol."



After "Stars" was done, ABC ran "Primetime: What Would You Do?" at 10 p.m. But it could only muster a 2.0/6. The big winner in that time period was NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" at a 3.5/10. CBS was next with a 2.5/7 for "Without a Trace."

CBS came in second place at 8 p.m. against "Idol"--with "NCIS" at a 3.1/9 at 8 p.m. But at 9 p.m., it was NBC's turn. That hour of "Loser" gave the network a 3.6/10.

Tuesday night averages went this way: Fox posted an 8.0/22 among 18-49 viewers; NBC got second place with a 3.3/9; CBS was next at a 2.9/8; then came ABC, at 2.2/6; Univision at 1.7/5; and CW at 0.6/2.

Fox also easily won among younger 18-34 viewers, with a 6.2/10. Only NBC was able to climb above the 2 rating level in this demo, earning a 2.5/8--good for a distant second place.

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