Wednesday Ratings: Dancing Beats Idol for First Time Ever

For the first time, Dancing with the Stars topped ratings powerhouse American Idol, according to weekly Nielsen numbers.


For the week of March 29, ABC's Dancing's Monday installment pulled in nearly 23 million viewers, making it the week's most-watched show. Although Idol's viewership slipped (21.8 million Tuesday and 20.5 million Wednesday), the show performed better than Dancing among the coveted 18-to-49 demographic.


Dancing's historic peak likely can be attributed to the strength of this season's cast and the relative weakness of Idol's batch of singers. Pamela Anderson, Buzz Aldrin and the continued obsession with Kate Gosselin is undoubtedly a better draw than the underwhelming group Idol has assembled.


Tuesday night, however, Fox's Idol bounced back, averaging 20.4 million viewers over two hours, leading Fox to an easy win for the night. Idol also outperformed Dancing (12.3 million viewers) by more than 5 million viewers when going head to head.


ABC and CBS tied for second place in the demo, though CBS had more viewers for the night. New episodes of NCIS (16 million viewers), NCIS: Los Angeles (13.7 million) and The Good Wife (12 million) all hit season lows in the demo, though.


ABC's Lost (9.5 million viewers) shed nearly a third of its Dancing lead-in, while V (6 million) was down 11 percent in the demo versus last week.


Parenthood (6 million viewers) rose 4 percent in the demo versus the previous week. The show also won its time slot, further enhancing its chances for renewal. Elsewhere on NBC, The Biggest Loser averaged 7.6 million viewers over two hours.


The CW's 90210 and Melrose Place (2009) drew 1.5 million viewers and 1 million viewers, respectively.


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