Anna Torv, Fringe

Craig Blankenhron/FOX

Fringe, back with its first new episode last night in about two months, proved a better, bigger companion for American Idol than the Osbournes' much-maligned variety special.

From 9 to 10 p.m., which saw the final nine minutes of Idol bleed into Fringe, Fox scored 11.9 million viewers, per preliminary Nielsen estimates, and bested Dancing With the Stars and The Mentalist among adults 18-49.

Osbournes: Reloaded, which aired after last week's Idol performance show, averaged about as many viewers (8.4 million) as opt-outs from local Fox affiliates.

Elsewhere Tuesday:

From 8 to 9 p.m., Idol's Top 8 show averaged 22 million viewers, down from the 24 million Idol's Top 9 entertained in the same hour last week. The show's final number may go up once its last nine minutes are averaged in.

NCIS (17.6 million) was the top scripted series. The Mentalist (16.8 million) wasn't too shabby, either.

Try not to take it personally, David Alan Grier, but your dismissal from Dancing With the Stars goosed the show by about 1 million viewers: last night's 14.3 million versus last week's 13.5 million.

In the jam-packed 9 p.m. hour, The Biggest Loser (8 million) ran second only to Idol/Fringe among adults 18-49.

Law & Order: SVU (9.1 million), Reaper (2.3 million) and 90210 (2.1 million) were about even with last week.

Cupid (6.2 million) lost about 2 million viewers from its DWTS-boosted first half-hour to its last.

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