'Fear Factor' gets rare ratings win

'Fear Factor' gets rare ratings win

"Fear Factor" achieved a new ratings high Monday, in the process becoming the first NBC program to beat an original episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" in nearly four years.

A 90-minute episode set in Las Vegas averaged 18.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, building to more than 20 million in the final half-hour to edge out "Raymond," which NBC hasn't done since the miniseries "Noah's Ark" aired in May 1999.

But to underscore the hit-miss nature of unscripted programs, Fox's "Married by America" slipped to 6.9 million viewers Monday, a 23% drop compared with its premiere.

ABC's drama lineup continues to struggle, with "The Practice's" 9 million viewers surpassing the new dramas that preceded and followed it, "Veritas: The Quest" and "Miracles," each by more than 3 million.

Brian Lowry

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