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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Big Brother beats US Pop Idol
American Idol
The 10 American Idol finalists have been chosen
The latest series of reality TV hit Big Brother in the United States is proving to be a hit with viewers.

The debut programme of the series has beaten talent show American Idol, which has been one of the summer's most successful programmes.

Big Brother 3 went up against the US version of the successful UK show on rival networks on Wednesday.

American Idol and Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell got the reputation as the "Mr Nasty" in the UK
Big Brother attracted 200,000 more viewers, with an audience of 9.2 million, compared with American Idol's nine million.

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar has been billed as one of the biggest hits of the summer in the US, following the same formula that made the UK version a hit.

Pop Idol was a huge ratings success for ITV in the UK when it was screened over the winter.

An earlier episode of American Idol had become the second most popular show on US TV with adults aged under 50, behind CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Will Young and Gareth Gates
The UK Pop Idol created stars of Will Young and Gareth Gates
Another import from the UK, game show Dog Eat Dog - which was hosted by Ulrika Jonsson - is third on the list.

American Idol, on Fox, saw record executive Simon Cowell - the "Mr Nasty" of the UK series - joined by singers Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson on the panel to whittle down the thousands of hopefuls.

The public will now have the chance to pick the winner from the 10 finalists.

Big Brother 3, on the CBS network, has only recently started - but its debut scored higher ratings than that of the last series.

In it, 12 contestants are locked in a house for 12 weeks, with their every move filmed and one emerging as winner at the end.

See also:

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