David and David Huff and Puff and Blow The House Down

The one-two jab of American Idol and Dancing With the Stars scored a big knockout punch on CTV last night. More than 3 million viewers tuned in to see David Archuleta and David Cook spar vocally for Idol fans at 8 p.m. (3.07 million), up nearly 20% compared to last year’s show-down between Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis. Leading into tonight’s two-hour season finale, American Idol now becomes the most-watched program of the week on Canadian television, with 14% more viewers than Monday’s season finale of House (2.69 million, FOX/Global). Also last night, the two-hour live finale of Dancing With the Stars saw 2 million viewers watch Olympic figure skater-turned-dancer Kristi Yamaguchi and partner Mark Ballas glide away with the overall win.

American Idol’s penultimate episode was the #1 program last night nationally and in Canada’s two largest television markets, Vancouver and Toronto. In Toronto alone, it delivered an astounding 830,000 viewers. American Idol’s audience peaked with 3.3 million viewers and outperformed the first hour of the NCIS season finale (CBS/Global, 1.4 million) by 120%. Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, either baby-faced crooner David Archuleta or rocker David Cook will be crowned the newest American Idol in a glamorous two-hour live finale of American Idol where legendary performer George Michael is rumoured to be performing.

With just over 2 million viewers (2.005 million), the two-hour season finale of Dancing With the Stars was the #2 program of the night and #1 in its timeslot, delivering 33% more viewers in its first hour (1.99 million) than the second hour of the NCIS season finale (CBS/Global, 1.49 million).

In addition to the American Idol season finale, also on CTV tonight are the season finales of Criminal Minds (7 p.m.) and CSI: New York (10 p.m.). Tomorrow night, So You Think You Can Dance premieres at 7 p.m. while Grey’s Anatomy scrubs out for the season at 9 p.m. Visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times.

Source: Preliminary overnight data, CTV Total and Global Total (BBM Nielsen Media Research).

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