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Back to basics: 2007-08's big winners recall TV's formative years

David Cook and Kristi Yamaguchi reigned over TV's two top draws.

Back to the future: The 2007-08 television season's six most popular programs had just two things going for them -- singing and dancing.

Split those spoils between Fox's American Idol and ABC's Dancing with the Stars, which dominated the prime-time landscape as two shows never have.

Idol's Tuesday performance shows reigned supreme with an average of 27.7 million viewers a week, edging out its runnerup Wednesday results shows (26.8 million viewers).

Then came Dancing's fall and spring editions. Last autumn's performance shows ranked third with 21.2 million viewers a week. Then came the spring performance shows (19.17 million), which barely outpointed fall's results hours (19.16 million). The No. 6 slot went to Dancing's spring results editions with 17.8 million viewers.

Rounding out the top 10 were ABC's Desperate Housewives (17.3 million); Fox's House (16.2 million); CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (16.1 million) and NBC's Sunday Night Football (15.9 million).

NBC's highest-ranked scripted show in total viewers, Heroes, managed just a 24th place finish with an average of 11.6 million.

The season-long results among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds played out a little differently. Idol's performance and results shows still easily held down the top two spots. Then came House; Desperate Housewives; ABC's Grey's Anatomy; Sunday Night Football; Fox's Moment of Truth; Heroes; ABC's Lost and fall's Dancing with the Stars performance shows.

Fox had its biggest year yet, winning for the first time ever in total viewers and notching its fourth straight victory among 18-to-49-year-olds. It also was the only network to improve its year-to-year performances in both measurements, although having the Super Bowl always helps.

Here's how the networks ranked overall, with last year's totals in parentheses:

Fox -- 10.35 million (9.85)
CBS -- 9.68 million (11.93)
ABC -- 8.49 million (9.47)
NBC -- 7.46 million (8.48)
Univision -- 3.51 million (3.61)
The CW -- 2.34 million (3.02)

Fox --- 4.97 million (4.89)
ABC -- 3.48 million (4.25)
CBS -- 3.43 million (4.51)
NBC -- 3.26 million (3.76)
Univision -- 1.98 million (2.05)
The CW -- 1.19 million (1.59)

The writers' strike and escalating options for watching shows via other "delivery systems" obviously didn't help the networks' conventional ratings results. Still, it was a pretty gloomy season for everyone except Fox.