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Obama vs Idol

President Barack Obama provided some solid competition for American Idol in the prime-time ratings.

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 Wednesday 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 (5.2, 8) and NBC had 6.5 million (4.1, 7).

A ratings point represents 1,145,000 households, or one per cent of the country's estimated 114.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Jan. 19-25, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 25.9 million; "American Idol" (Tuesday), Fox, 22.77 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 17.57 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 16.09 million; "House," Fox, 15.03 million; "CSI: Miami," CBS, 14.58 million; "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 14.43 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.21 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 13.82 million; "Cold Case," CBS, 13.26 million.

 
 
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