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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Idol,’ ‘Lost’ help season end on a high

David Bauder Associated Press

The conclusion of another “American Idol” competition and the “Lost” season finale brought more than 50 million viewers to their television sets last week on the final day of the television season.

An estimated 30.3 million people saw Carrie Underwood beat Bo Bice on Fox’s two-hour “Idol” finale May 25, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Instead of shrinking from such withering competition, ABC’s “Lost,” which aired at the same time, averaged 20.7 million viewers.

Fox’s “House,” like “Lost” another in the crop of impressive freshman dramas, finished with 19.5 million viewers the previous night.

Don’t expect to see those numbers again anytime soon.

It’s summertime, and the network prime-time schedules will be a mix of reruns and reality shows.

CBS reality stars Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich attracted 9.7 million guests to their wedding special May 24, but ABC had one of the more unsightly sweeps performances when its made-for-TV movie on Donald Trump drew a paltry 5.6 million viewers that same night.

Fox easily won the week, averaging 12.5 million viewers in prime time (7.5 rating, 13 share).

CBS averaged 9.4 million viewers (6.4, 11), NBC 7.8 million (5.2, 9), ABC 7.2 million (4.7, 8), UPN 2.8 million (1.9, 3) and the WB 2.5 million (1.7, 3).

A ratings point represents 1,096,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 109.6 million TV homes.

The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

The top 10 shows for the week ending Sunday:

“American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 30.3 million viewers; “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 28.1 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 21.2 million; “Lost,” ABC, 20.7 million; “House,” Fox, 19.5 million; “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 16.4 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 16.1 million; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” NBC, 15 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 14.9 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 14.7 million.

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