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‘Idol’ Gets Lowest Ratings Since 2002

Fox still wins the demo race; NBC takes second place

“American Idol” cratered to its lowest viewer total since 2002, but the declining giant’s remaining demo power, combined with the sustained presence of freshman “Glee,” pushed Fox to victory in the key adults 18-49 demo. 

Meanwhile, the combined forces of “The Biggest Loser” and “Parenthood” pushed NBC into second place for that same benchmark. 

Here are Wednesday night’s ratings highlights: 

Aaron Kelly American IdolNOT SINCE THE DAYS OF DUNKLEMAN: Even with its contestants whittled to five, “Idol” dropped 13 percent week-to-week to 17.1 million viewers, finishing behind ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (19.6 million). “Idol’s” viewer total was its lowest since Aug. 27, 2002. Still, its 18-49 demo performance (6.0 rating/18 share) won the time period. “Glee,” meanwhile, held onto 82 percent of “Idol’s” audience, finishing with a 4.9/13 key demo score and an 11.9 million viewer average. 

EVEN THE LOSERS GET LUCKY SOMETIMES…: NBC finished the night in second place in 18-49s, driven by “The Biggest Loser” (3.2/9) and “Parenthood” (2.6/7). 

GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Winding down to its May 23 finale, ABC’s “Lost” spiked 5 percent in the key demo to a 3.9/10, while drawing 9.5 million viewers. ABC finished Wednesday tied with CBS for third in the adult demo race. 

BAD NIGHT FOR ‘NAVAL’ GAZING: CBS’ “NCIS” block had its worst night of the season, with the flagship dropping 11 percent to a 3.1/9 demo score (and 14.8 million viewers) and start-up “NCIS: Los Angeles” declining 13 percent to a 2.8/7 (and 14.2 million viewers). It was a season/series low for the latter freshman.