TV ratings: 'American Idol' opens to 30 million; 'NCIS' stays strong

maddy-curtis-american-idol-.jpgFast National ratings for Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010

The season premiere of "American Idol" was just about in line with its opening last year, giving FOX a big ratings win on Tuesday. "NCIS" and the rest of CBS' Tuesday lineup, meanwhile, held fairly steady against the "Idol" juggernaut.

The two-hour "Idol" premiere gave FOX 29.8 million viewers and a 15.9 rating/24 share for the night -- off just slightly (pending final same-day numbers) from the 30.4 million viewers who watched the 2009 premiere. CBS (16.7 million, 10.4/16) finished a strong second. There was a big dropoff to third-place NBC (7.5 million, 4.7/7), and a further one to No. 4 ABC (3.1 million, 2.0/3). The CW, still in rerun mode, managed only 729,000 viewers and a 0.5/1.

FOX also dominated the adults 18-49 ratings with an 11.7, up a tenth of a point over last year's "Idol" opener. CBS was the best of the rest at 3.5, followed by NBC at 2.8. ABC (1.0) and The CW (0.3) weren't really in the game.

Tuesday's hourly numbers:

8 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" season premiere (27.9 million viewers, 15.0/22 households)
CBS: "NCIS" (20.7 million, 12.6/19)
NBC: "The Biggest Loser: Couples" (7.9 million, 4.9/7)
ABC: "Scrubs" rerun (2.5 million, 1.7/3)/"Better Off Ted" (2.2 million, 1.4/2)
The CW: "90210" rerun (770,000, 0.6/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (10.8)

9 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" season premiere (31.7 million, 16.8/25)
CBS: "NCIS: Los Angeles" (15.5 million, 9.7/14)
NBC: "The Biggest Loser" (8.3 million, 5.2/8)
ABC: "Scrubs" (2.7 million, 1.8/3)/"Better Off Ted" (2.5 million, 1.6/2)
The CW: "Melrose Place" rerun (688,000, 0.5/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (12.7)

10 p.m.

CBS:
"The Good Wife" (13.8 million, 8.9/15)
NBC: "The Jay Leno Show" (6.2 million, 3.9/7)
ABC: "The Forgotten" (4.4 million, 2.8/5)

18-49 leader: "The Good Wife" (3.0)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

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Photo credit: FOX