Reuters reports that Fox's "American Idol" delivered more record-setting numbers Tuesday with the first of this week's two-part finale, surpassing 18 million viewers overall. According to national estimates from Nielsen, "Idol" delivered the network's highest series ratings ever in the Tuesday-at-9 hour among adults 18-49 (9.3 rating, 24 share), adults 18-34 (10.2/29) and total viewers (18.69 million).

The show shot up by 12% in 18-49 vs. its previous best score, set last Wednesday (9.3 vs. 8.3), becoming Fox's highest-rated series in the key demo since the finale of "Temptation Island" in February 2001. In the younger demos of adults 18-34 and teens, Tuesday's episode of "Idol" even tops the finale scores of the most recent edition of CBS' "Survivor" last May.