LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fox's "American Idol" hit impressively high ratings notes in its third season premiere.
The talent show drew 29 million viewers Monday, the best start for any series in the 2003-04 season, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday by Fox.
Fox also enjoyed a solid debut for "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," a reality series that debuted after "American Idol." The new series was watched by 19.6 million viewers.
Final figures for both series, which helped Fox win the night among total viewers as well as advertiser-coveted younger ones, will be available Wednesday.
"American Idol," which has produced three instant music stars in Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, was expected to provide a boost for the struggling network.