"American Idol" and NASCAR put Fox out front in the ratings during the final week of the TV season, more than 3 million viewers ahead of its closest competitor, CBS. Is this a great country or what?
Here's a look at the week's proud and not so:
"American Idol." More than 30 million viewers watched as Carrie Underwood was crowned winner of Fox's singing competition on Wednesday -- the most-watched broadcast of the 2004-05 TV season's final week. While not as big a crowd as watched Ruben Studdard win two seasons ago, it's about 1.5 million viewers more than last season's final broadcast. Overall, this fourth season outperformed the third by an average of more than 1 million viewers.
"Lost." Opposite Fox's "Idol" ratings goliath, the two-hour season finale of the freshman drama copped nearly 21 million viewers -- ABC's largest audience in the time slot in five years, excluding sports.
"House." Fox's freshman drama starring Hugh Laurie -- recently named TV's sexiest doctor in a TV Guide poll -- ended its first season with a series-high 19.5 million viewers.
NASCAR. Car racing bagged Fox's biggest Sunday prime-time since the Super Bowl. Not good news for the producers of the network's Sunday comedies.
"Law & Order: SVU." In its season finale, the NBC drama scored more viewers than ABC's Donald Trump flick and CBS's Rob and Amber wedding combined (see Losers).
"Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution." Just 7.5 million caught CBS's ripped-from-cable-news flick about convicted wife killer Scott Peterson's girlfriend. The network had averaged 11.5 million in the time slot with regular programming.
"Trump Unauthorized." ABC's The Donald bio flick lured a disappointing crowd of 5.6 million on Tuesday. The worst The Donald has done on an original episode of NBC's "The Apprentice" is nearly 11 million (though an "Apprentice" clip job in December averaged 7.4 million).
"Rob & Amber Get Married." When CBS's reality-series-couple-you-can't-kill-with-a-stick got married, 9.7 million tuned in. When Trista & Ryan, aka ABC's reality-series-scary-chick-and-victim, got married, 17.1 million tuned in. Trista & Ryan win!
"Kept." Jerry Hall and boy toys got only 571,000 viewers excited Sunday. Hall's going to look over her hunks and pick one to be her escort in the course of this new VH1 reality series, which has a long way to go to match the averages of the cable net's other Sunday reality series, including "Strange Love" (1.1 million viewers), "Surreal Life 4" (1.4 million) and "Celebrity Fit Club" (1.4 million).
Someone at CBS. CBS's Monday sitcom "Two and a Half Men" -- heir to the "Everybody Loves Raymond" time slot -- moved into its new half-hour last week for its season finale. After which, a rerun did a bigger number in the show's old time slot. Which probably means CBS did not do a good enough job letting "2.5M" fans know about the move.
The week's 10 most-watched programs, in order, were: Fox's Wednesday and Tuesday "American Idol"; CBS's "CSI: Miami"; ABC's "Lost"; Fox's "House"; NBC's "Law & Order: SVU"; CBS's "CSI"; NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"; and CBS's "Two and a Half Men" rerun and "NCIS."