Super Bowl exhibitionist Janet Jackson got a rise out of David Letterman's audience.
Ratings for Monday's Late Show with David Letterman, featuring Jackson's first network appearance since you-know-what, were up 20 percent in overnight markets over the program's usual weeknight opener, CBS said.
The performance led Letterman past NBC's Tonight Show and the Peacock's new $100 million man, Jay Leno.
Jackson's Late Show wasn't terribly noteworthy outside of the ratings. She didn't sing. She didn't suffer a wardrobe malfunction. She didn't sound all that eager to talk about the "accident."
When pressed on the Super Bowl flash by her gracious host, Jackson at one point muttered, "Oh, Jesus," an oath deleted from the tape-delayed broadcast by gracious network censors.
Having braved Dave, Jackson will next appear, and perform, on ABC's Good Morning America (Wednesday) and On Air with Ryan Seacrest (Friday). The media tour comes non-coincidentally as her new album, Damita Jo, debuts partially unclad in stores Tuesday.
In other ratings news:
About 27 million watched Simon Cowell scratch his forehead with his middle finger on Tuesday's two-hour American Idol, the most-watched prime-time show for the week ended Sunday and the most-watched Tuesday night ever in Fox history, per Nielsen Media Research.
Idol's Wednesday night elimination show, eliminating ex-jock Matt Rogers, was witnessed by 20.4 million (third place).
NBC's The Apprentice turned in a masterful, record performance--second place, 22.8 million--as Katrina Campins heard the magic words from Donald Trump.
Debate over President Bush's post-9/11 war on terrorism continued to be a big draw, with 16.74 million checking out National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice's unsworn testimony on Sunday's 60 Minutes (sixth place).
A less-than-scintillating season-to-date recap in a less-than-scintillating time slot (8 p.m., Wednesday instead of 8 p.m., Thursday because of college basketball) dropped CBS' Survivor: All-Stars to season lows--seventh place, 16.7 million.
NBC's just-renewed Crossing Jordan showed why it was just renewed--13th place, 14.7 million.
ABC scored a rare Top 20 hit with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (20th place, 11.9 million), with the fixer-upper show boosting Alias (45th place, 8.8 million) and The Practice (36th place, 9.8 million) to their best numbers in more than a month.
The star-crossed TV-movie, NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323, made in 2001 but bumped from ABC's schedule twice by real-world airborne disasters (9/11 and the space shuttle Columbia), finally made it to prime time without incident. And without a whole lot of interest--53rd place, 8.2 million.
CBS' attempt to cash in on Passion fever netted inglorious results for its rebroadcast of the 2000 TV-movie Jesus (59th place, 7.5 million).
Ratings for CBS' coverage of the men's NCAA basketball tournament are now up 29 percent from last year. ABC got more modest returns on figure skating, with its prime-time offering of the ladies' world championship event up 9 percent from 2003. (Its men's coverage was up 11 percent.)
Overall, CBS, led by CSI: Miami (fourth place, 20.3 million), was the most-watched network (averaging 11.5 million viewers); Fox was the most cool network (among 18-to-49-year-olds).
NBC ran second in viewers (10.9 million), trailed by Fox (9.8 million) and ABC (8 million).
UPN, paced by the season finale of America's Next Top Model (74th place, 5.9 million), blew past the WB, 3.3 million viewers to 2.7 million.
Here's a rundown of the 10 most-watched shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research:
1. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 27 million
2. The Apprentice, NBC, 22.8 million
3. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 20.4 million
4. CSI: Miami, CBS, 20.3 million
5. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 18 million
6. 60 Minutes, CBS, 16.74 million
7. Survivor: All-Stars, CBS, 16.7 million
8. Friends, NBC, 16.7 million
9. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 16.4 million
10. Will & Grace, NBC, 15.9 million