Ratings: American Idol Beats NCIS Head to Head; Sheen Can Claim Another "Win"
Ratings behemoths NCIS and American Idol went head to head — and Idol won. And the self-proclaimed biggest "winner" of all, Charlie Sheen, helped ABC win a lot more viewers than usual.
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The CBS procedural attracted 19.2 million viewers (the low end of its range), while a 90-minute edition of the Fox network's singing competition — in which the top 12 male semifinalists performed — lured nearly 21.3 million. Idol's rating among 18-to-49-year-olds declined 5 percent, to 7.5, from last Wednesday, but was nearly double NCIS' rating in the advertiser-coveted demo.
In the previous two weeks, the Fox musical/dramedy Glee aired in the first hour of Tuesday's prime time against NCIS and garnered 10.5 million each time.
Read out American Idol recaps
Also in prime-time's first hour Tuesday, The Biggest Loser: Couples drew more than 6.2 million viewers on NBC, No Ordinary Family on ABC continued its downward slide, to 4.3 million people, and the CW's One Tree Hill had nearly 1.6 million.
Fox's underperforming relationship comedy Traffic Light got the week off, and Raising Hope enjoyed rising ratings in Idol's wake at 9:30/8:30c, rousting up nearly 8.8 million viewers and a series-high 3.4 demo rating.
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Idol took the biggest bite out of NCIS: Los Angeles's audience at 9/8c; the spin-off had 15.4 million people tuning in (vs. 18.6 million last week). Loser saw its usual gain in its second hour (7.8 million vs. last week's 8.3). Also in prime time's middle hour, ABC's V declined to 5 million, versus last week's 5.1 million, while the CW's Hellcats drew nearly 1.5 million.
In prime time's final hour, a big plot development involving Chris Noth's character did nothing to boost The Good Wife's total viewership (though it saw a 10 percent increase in its demo rating). The sophomore series starring Juliana Margulies lured 11.3 million (vs. 11.5 million viewers last week).
The Good Wife's small slip, however, could be attributed to Sheen, whose tumultuous TV tour boosted a special edition of 20/20 to 9.3 million viewers — and a demo rating of 3.2, nearly tripling what Detroit 1-8-7 typically gets. NBC's Parenthood drew some 5 million.