Fast National ratings for Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

The season finale of NBC's "Biggest Loser: Couples" took a bite out of "American Idol" and "Fringe," tightening up the Tuesday ratings races.

FOX averaged a 6.1 rating among adults 18-49, topping the solid 4.7 rating for NBC in the key demographic. CBS Was third with a 3.1 rating, followed by the 1.9 rating for ABC and The CW's 1.0 rating.

Overall, though, FOX and CBS averaged the same 9.6 rating/15 share, though FOX's average audience of 16.5 million viewers was far ahead of the 15.1 million for CBS. NBC was a solid third with a 7.1/11, topping ABC's 5.1/8 and The CW's 13.2.

As per usual, FOX's "American Idol" won the 8 p.m. hour with a 12.6/20, holding off the 10.0/16 for CBS' "NCIS." NBC's "Biggest Loser: Couples" was third in its first hour, doubling up ABC's "According to Jim" episodes in fourth. The CW's "Reaper" had a 1.3/2. 

At 9 p.m. CBS claimed the hour with a 10.1/15 for "The Mentalist." ABC was second with an 8.9/14 for "Dancing with the Stars" results. NBC stayed third as "Biggest Loser" improved to a 7.4/11, beating the 6.6/10 for FOX's season finale of "Fringe," while The CW's "90210" held onto fifth. Note that the "Fringe" numbers include roughly five minutes of "Idol" overrun, explaining why the show's first half-hour had a 7.8/12, compared to a 5.3/8 for its second half-hour (where "Biggest Loser" beat it by more than 4 million viewers). Also note that "Biggest Loser" comfortably won the hour in the 18-49 demo, followed by the "Idol"-aided "Fringe" and "The Mentalist." And as a finale note, The CW mentions that "90210" had its best  performance since February.

CBS won 10 p.m. overall with an 8.9/15 for "Without a Trace," nipping the 8.0/13 for "Biggest Loser," though among adults 18-49, "Biggest Loser" very nearly doubled up its CBS competition. ABC's "Cupid" continued to limp along.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.



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A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.