Winners & Losers

Fox Crushes the Competition

Taylor Hicks: A ratings winner, too.
Taylor Hicks: A ratings winner, too. (By Frederick M. Brown -- Getty Images)
By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 1, 2006

Taylor Hicks and his vote-early-and-often Soul Patrol handed Fox the final week of the 2005-06 TV season in a ratings landslide.

Here's a look at the week's charmed and cursed:


"American Idol." Both the final Tuesday performance night and Wednesday's crowning of silver-haired Hicks delivered the singing competition's highest numbers ever -- nearly 32 million and more than 36 million, respectively. Wednesday's results show was the season's third-most-watched broadcast, behind only the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.

"House." Fox series's second season finale copped its biggest audience ever -- more than 25 million viewers.

"24." In its fifth season, Fox's serialized drama logged nearly 14 million viewers -- up 13 percent from last year's finale. "24's" secret? No repeats.

41st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards . Even airing opposite the final performance night of "Idol," CBS's music trophy show bagged its biggest audience in three years -- more than 12 million.

"Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball" handed ABC its biggest non-sports audience in the Monday 8 p.m. hour in more than three years -- nearly 12 million viewers.


"Stephen King's Desperation." And how -- to the tune of an anemic 7.5 million viewers.

"10.5: Apocalypse." Part 2 of NBC's sequel to last season's successful "10.5" miniseries limped home with fewer than 7 million viewers Tuesday night.

"Lost." On "Idol's" final night, the season finale of ABC's serialized drama logged nearly 18 million viewers -- down about 3 million from last year's, also on the final "Idol" night. "Lost's" secret? Too many repeats.

Dr. Phil . Viewers are fleeing Dr. Phil's "Escaping" specials. This one, "Escaping Addictions," attracted just 5.2 million.

The week's 10 most-watched programs, in order, were: Fox's Wednesday and Tuesday "American Idol" and "House"; CBS's "CSI: Miami"; ABC's "Lost"; CBS's "Two and a Half Men"; NBC's Monday "Deal or No Deal"; Fox's "24"; and CBS's "CSI" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

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