- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama provided some solid competition for “American Idol” in the prime-time ratings.

ABC’s “Neighborhood Ball,” with Inauguration Night performances from will.i.am and Stevie Wonder, was seen by 12.6 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research.

It competed directly against “American Idol” on Fox. “Idol” won, but its Tuesday night audience of 22.8 million was clearly affected by interest in the new president. Television’s most popular show rebounded to draw nearly 26 million people the next night.

With an “Idol” lead-in, Fox’s new series “Lie to Me” was watched by 12.4 million people in its Jan. 21 debut.

CBS won the week with an average of 10.8 million viewers (6.8 rating, 11 share). Fox had 10.5 million (6.1, 10), but dominated among its target demographic of 18-to-49-year-olds. ABC averaged 8.3 million viewers, NBC had 6.5 million, and the CW had 1.7 million viewers as did My Network TV. ION Television averaged 690,000 viewers.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision had 4.2 million viewers, Telemundo 1.2 million. TeleFutura 540,000 and Azteca 180,000.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 10.1 million viewers. ABC’s “World News” was second with 9.2 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 7.1 million.

For the week of Jan. 19-25, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1)”American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 25.9 million; 2)”American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 22.7 million; 3)”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 17.5 million; 4”Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 16 million; and 5)”House,” Fox, 15 million.

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