Clean Sweep: Fox Will Win Season, May Sweeps

Fox will end up winning the season and May sweeps when the official numbers tally 18-49 viewers. But the performance of one of its main shows, "24," will humble the network going into next season.

The two-hour "24" finale came in with a weak 3.8 rating/10 share among 18-49 viewers, down a massive 31% from the 5.5 rating of a year ago.

The 3.8 rating only includes one day of DVR playback usage. Most networks say to be fair, you need to look at three days--if not seven--of DVR viewing.

Still, the extra DVR viewers probably won't make up half of the 31% decline. Tuesday and Wednesday night's "American Idol" finale offer a better clue as to how Fox will perform on the final two days of the May sweeps period and of the season.

NBC and ABC may have had much to do with the "24" drop. NBC's "Heroes" finale grabbed a Monday night-leading 6.2/15. ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" finale also posted a strong 5.3 rating among 18-49 viewers.

Fox might have been somewhat relieved that CBS decided not to play in its Monday night prime-time hand. Instead, the net ran four repeats of "Two and a Half Men" and a repeat of "CSI: Miami."



ABC won the night. Its finale of "The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman" helped out "Dancing" with a healthy 4.8/12. Overall, ABC earned a 4.9/13 for the night.

NBC was right behind ABC with a 4.2/11. Its "Deal or No Deal" earned a 3.1/9, and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" scored a 3/8.

Then came Fox, with a 3.8/10. CBS was in fourth, with a 3.3/9.

The CW--like its half-sister network, CBS--was also in rerun mode, grabbing a 0.7/2. This gave MyNetworkTV a shot at coming close to CW's ratings for the night, with a 0.5/1 for its ultimate fighting show, "IFL Battleground."

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