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ABC Kicks Its 'Dancing' Lineup To a New Level

Former competitor Jerry Springer predicted Heather Mills would be the sentimental favorite of the new
Former competitor Jerry Springer predicted Heather Mills would be the sentimental favorite of the new "Dancing With the Stars," starting March 19. (By Jennifer L. Gonzeles -- Abc Via Ap)

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" 1/2 Hour News Hour." Fox News Channel's answer to Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" bagged nearly 1.48 million viewers in its unveiling Sunday at 10. That's about 80 percent more viewers than FNC has averaged in that slot in the first quarter. For comparison: "The Daily Show" averaged 1.57 million viewers Monday-Thursday.

Westminster Dog Show. An average of nearly 3 million watched James, the English springer spaniel from Fairfax Station, win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last Tuesday -- about 400,000 more than last year's crowd.

"Grey's Anatomy." A shockingly sex-free episode of ABC's doc drama nailed 25.8 million viewers last week. And despite the lack of action, the show beat both editions of "American Idol" among 18-to-24-year-olds -- an age bracket on everyone's minds since Nielsen began including in its stats college-age viewers living away from the nest.

"Rules of Engagement." One hundred percent of "Two and a Half Men's" audience in the 18-49 bracket that advertisers covet stuck around to watch the second episode of CBS's new sitcom "Rules of Engagement." And yet, it stars David Spade.

LOSERS

"Lost." In its second week back on the air, ABC's "Lost" scored its smallest audience for an original episode -- 12.8 million viewers. ABC moved the show to 10 p.m. Wednesdays to get it out of the path of Fox's "American Idol." Meanwhile, "Criminal Minds," which CBS did not move out of "Idol's" path on Wednesday nights, scored more than 15 million viewers.

"24." Fox pulled "Prison Break" in favor of two "24" episodes Monday -- presumably hoping to goose that show at 9. But the episode finished behind NBC's "Heroes" and two CBS sitcoms among viewers of all ages, and behind "Heroes" with the 18-to-49-year-olds advertisers covet. "24" had not lost in that demographic group to regular competition in the time slot since the night of the "Everybody Loves Raymond" finale in May '05.

The week's 10 most-watched programs, in order, were: Fox's Tuesday and Wednesday "American Idol" and "House"; ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"; CBS's "CSI" and "CSI: Miami"; ABC's "Desperate Housewives"; CBS's "Survivor: Fiji"; NBC's Monday "Deal or No Deal"; and CBS's "Two and a Half Men."


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