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Awards are golden for NBC

Hobbits and Hollywood stars were an irresistible combination as NBC drew a record-setting audience of 26.8-million people to the Golden Globes telecast Sunday night.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the best dramatic film award. The movie was nominated Tuesday for a best picture Oscar, and the ratings bode well for the upcoming Academy Awards on ABC.

The largest Golden Globes audience in the past was the 24.3-million who watched in 1998, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday.

The awards show enabled NBC to be a close second last week to Fox, which snared the week's three most popular shows with three editions of American Idol.

The Idol shows, featuring cringe-inducing auditions, drew between 28.6-million and 29.4-million viewers, Nielsen said.

Those numbers helped lift other Fox shows.

For the week, Fox averaged 12.8-million viewers. NBC averaged 12.7-million. CBS was third with 11.3-million, ABC had 7.5-million, the WB 4.1-million, UPN 3.5-million and Pax TV 1-million.

NBC's Nightly News won the evening news ratings race, averaging 11.6-million viewers. ABC's World News Tonight had 10.6-million and the CBS Evening News 8.7-million.

1. Idol-Wed., Fox, 29.4

2. Idol-Mon., Fox, 29

3. Idol-Tue., Fox, 28.6

4. Golden Globes, NBC, 26.8

5. Friends-8 p.m., NBC, 20.8

6. CSI, CBS, 20.7

7. Friends-8:30 p.m., NBC, 20.7

8. Obnoxious Fiance, Fox, 19.6

9. CSI: Miami, CBS, 16.3

10. 60 Minutes, CBS, 15.8

11. Cold Case, CBS, 15.8

12. Will & Grace, NBC, 15.7

13. Without a Trace, CBS, 14.8

14. Law & Order, NBC, 14.5

15. Raymond, CBS, 13.7

16. Two & Half Men, CBS, 13.3

17. Globes Arrivals, NBC, 13.1

18. Fear Factor, NBC, 12.9

19. The O.C., Fox, 12.7

20. The Apprentice, NBC, 12.3