For eight seasons, American Idol has had a steady stranglehold on the top spot of the ratings totem pole.
ABC reality competition Dancing with the Stars tried to give Idol some competition last season, but its efforts fell short, notching a few million viewers below the Fox juggernaut.
This season, one show will once again try to pierce through Idol's mighty armor, and judging from the show's ratings history, it just might do so.
CBS procedural NCIS, one of the few shows that registered a hike in the ratings amidst an overall slump, will try to challenge Idol's supremacy on Tuesday nights next year, says network bigwigs.
"NCIS is Idol-proof," says CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. "Idol comes and goes, and NCIS pretty much holds its place."
Now on its 7th season, NCIS has steadily been climbing the ratings ladder, from an 11.84 mil average in its debut run to 17.89 mil in the 6th, solidifying its grip on the number 2 spot.
American Idol, on the other hand, has seen a dip in its ratings in the past couple of seasons. But its 30.4 mil average in the last season is still something not readily dismissible.
NCIS is also being paired up this season with spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, yet another arsenal from the CBS camp. The new show stars LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, and is seen to help NCIS in its challenge to beat Idol.