With football -- both college and professional -- out of the picture last week, Fox's American Idol had only itself to compete against for the top spot in the ratings, and the outcome was close. Wednesday's auditions show from New York captured 33.87 million viewers, while Tuesday's from Memphis came in second with 32.6 million. No other TV show during the week came within 11 million viewers of equaling those figures. (No. 3 on the Nielsen list was ABC's Grey's Anatomy with 21.5 million viewers.) Nevertheless, CBS was able to eke out a slim margin of victory for the week with an overall household rating of 7.5/12. Fox was close behind with a 7.4/11. ABC placed third with a 5.2/8, while NBC brought up the rear with a 5.0/8. (Beginning this week, Nielsen Research will begin including college students living away from home in its ratings reports.)

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 18.9/28; 2. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 18.0/26; 3. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 14.0/21; 4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 13.2/20; 5. CSI: Miami, CBS, 12.1/19; 6. Deal Or No Deal (Monday), NBC, 10.7/16; 7. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 10.0/14; 8. Cold Case, CBS, 9.4/14; 9. 60 Minutes, CBS, 9.3/15; 9. Hallmark Hall of Fame: "Valley of Light," CBS, 9.3/14; 9. NCIS, CBS, 9.3/14; 9. Shark, CBS, 9.3/16.