Ratings for Fox's American Idol continued to hold up well in its third week Wednesday night. They were virtually flat against last week and also against the third week of last season, when the first show of the week aired on Tuesdays. All of which seemed to confirm that the loss of Simon Cowell and Ellen Degeneres has not harmed the franchise. Wednesday's show averaged 24.93 million viewers. Technically that figure is actually up 2 percent from a year ago, but such a small bump is considered statistically insignificant. However, going head-to-head against her old show, Paula Abdul is being trounced with her Live To Dance contest. The CBS show, which debuted with 10.2 million viewers last month has shed 53 percent of them, and with only 4.79 million tuning in Wednesday, it will likely be the only last-place show featured on CBS's primetime schedule. On the other hand, not having to compete against American Idol has sent ratings for CBS's Tuesday-night drama NCIS through the roof. This week's episode drew 22.7 million viewers. CBS announced Wednesday that it had renewed the series for a ninth season.

03/02/2011