''Idol'' tops Nielsens, ties ratings record for Fox. Last Tuesday's edition was only the second episode of a Fox series ever to be the week's most-watched show

By Gary Susman
Updated August 28, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
American Idol: Ray Mickshaw/ FOX

You may think ”American Idol” is plagued by talentless hacks (and that’s just the hosts), but admit it: you can’t stop watching. According to Nielsen ratings figures, last Tuesday’s episode drew 15.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched show of the week. That’s only the second time an episode of a Fox series has earned that distinction; the last time was a ”Simpsons” episode way back in 1990.

Competition shows continued to drive the ratings race, with big numbers tuning in to CBS’ ”Big Brother,” NBC’s ”Dog Eat Dog” and ”Meet My Folks,” and ABC’s coverage of last Monday’s preseason NFL game (San Francisco vs. Denver) and Sunday’s Little League World Series game. CBS finished the week on top with an average of 8.4 million viewers, followed by NBC (8 million), ABC (7.2 million), and Fox (7 million).

In other ”Idol” news, Fox has set a date of Sept. 23 for the show’s Vegas extravaganza. All 30 of the contestants who made the judges’ initial cut will be performing during the two-hour concert. So if you miss EJay or Jim, this may be your last chance to see them.