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Ratings: 'American Idol' finale tops the weekly ratings

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Surprise, surprise: Last Wednesday’s American Idol finale was the top-rated show of the week, drawing a healthy 28.8 million viewers to the showdown that saw Kris Allen triumph over Adam Lambert. However, the night was still down 9 percent from the previous season’s finale, which pulled in 31.7 million viewers. The Tuesday night performance episode drew 23.8 million viewers and took the No. 2 spot for the week.

Of course, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars followed Idol, with the final results show (which crowned Olympian Shawn Johnson the season’s winner) ending up at No. 3 with 20.3 million viewers (a 200,000-viewer increase from a year ago) and the Monday performance show clocking in at No. 4 with 19.2 million viewers.

Nos. 5-12 on the chart were all CBS shows, from the season finale of The Mentalist at No. 5 (16.8 million viewers) to a repeat of CSI at No. 12 (9.9 million viewers). Several other finales on CBS, all scripted, fell in between.

Of note in the rest of the Top 20 was the premiere of Fox’s heavily promoted Glee, which showed up at No. 14 with 9.6 million viewers. While that’s not a bad number, the show’s ratings were seen as disappointing, since Glee lost 60 percent of it’s lead-in audience from Idol. The season 5 premiere of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance showed up right after Glee, at No. 15, with 8.8 million viewers — a 1 percent bump over last season’s premiere. The full Top 20 — with total viewership numbers — is after the jump.

1. American Idol Wednesday | Fox | 28.8 million
2. American Idol Tuesday | Fox | 23.8 million
3. Dancing With the Stars Tuesday | ABC | 20.3 million
4. Dancing With the Stars Monday | ABC | 19.2 million
5. The Mentalist | CBS | 16.8 million
6. NCIS | CBS | 16.8 million
7. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 16.2 million
8. CSI: Miami | CBS | 14.2 million
9. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.0 million
10. Rules of Engagement | CBS | 12.9 million
11. Without a Trace | CBS | 11.2 million
12. CSI (R) | CBS | 9.9 million
13. 24 | Fox | 9.6 million
14. Glee | Fox | 9.6 million
15. So You Think You Can Dance | Fox | 8.8 million
16. How I Met Your Mother | CBS | 8.7 million
17. NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles at Denver | ABC | 8.7 million
18. The Bachelorette | ABC | 8.7 million
19. 60 Minutes (R) | CBS | 8.1 million
20. Dancing with the Stars (R) | ABC | 7.6 million

More recent ratings news from EW:
Tuesday: CBS dominates while ‘Mental’ and ‘Hitched or Ditched’ debut
‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ season 5 premiere shatters TLC records
Thursday: Fox wins with ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ return
Wednesday: ‘American Idol’ Ratings: Lambert/Allen can’t compete with Archuleta/Cook
Tuesday: ‘Idol’ + ‘Dancing’ does not = ‘Glee’
Monday: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ wins, ‘The Bachelorette’ comes up roses

1. American Idol Wednesday | Fox | 28.8 million
2. American Idol Tuesday | Fox | 23.8 million
3. Dancing With the Stars Tuesday | ABC | 20.3 million
4. Dancing With the Stars Monday | ABC | 19.2 million
5. The Mentalist | CBS | 16.8 million
6. NCIS | CBS | 16.8 million
7. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 16.2 million
8. CSI: Miami | CBS | 14.2 million
9. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.0 million
10. Rules of Engagement | CBS | 12.9 million
11. Without a Trace | CBS | 11.2 million
12. CSI (R) | CBS | 9.9 million
13. 24 | Fox | 9.6 million
14. Glee | Fox | 9.6 million
15. So You Think You Can Dance | Fox | 8.8 million
16. How I Met Your Mother | CBS | 8.7 million
17. NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles at Denver | ABC | 8.7 million
18. The Bachelorette | ABC | 8.7 million
19. 60 Minutes (R) | CBS | 8.1 million
20. Dancing with the Stars (R) | ABC | 7.6 million

More recent ratings news from EW:
Tuesday: CBS dominates while ‘Mental’ and ‘Hitched or Ditched’ debut
‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ season 5 premiere shatters TLC records
Thursday: Fox wins with ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ return
Wednesday: ‘American Idol’ Ratings: Lambert/Allen can’t compete with Archuleta/Cook
Tuesday: ‘Idol’ + ‘Dancing’ does not = ‘Glee’
Monday: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ wins, ‘The Bachelorette’ comes up roses

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