By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 09, 2003 11:42 AM

FOX’s “American Idol” continues to dominate the Nielsen ratings — and the network couldn’t be happier.

FOX not only saw its overall audience average rise by 35 percent — to 9.3 million viewers — compared with the same week a year ago, but “Idol” also helped the ratings for the new comedy following it, “Wanda at Large” (13.9 million viewers).

Still, CBS, though battered by disappointing numbers for its primetime coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, still came in with the No. 1 show, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” It also was the most-watched network, with an average of 12.1 million viewers.

Remaining red-hot on Thursday nights, “CSI” nearly doubled the average number of viewers of its NBC rivals in the same timeslot, “Will & Grace” and “Good Morning, Miami.”

Left far in the dust was the postponed Barbara Walters Oscar interview special on ABC, which remains the least-watched of the four top networks. It averaged 7.5 million viewers last week, far below NBC’s average of 11.1 million.

Last week’s Top 10 shows, according to Nielsen, were as follows:

1. “CSI,” CBS, 26.4 million viewers
2. “American Idol,” Tuesday, FOX, 21.2 million
3. “Friends,” NBC, 20.9 million
4. “American Idol,” Wednesday, 20.3 million
5. “Survivor: Amazon,” CBS, 19.8 million
6. “ER,” NBC, 19 million
7. “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 18.6 million
8. “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 17 million
9. “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 15.8 million
10. “Law & Order” Criminal Intent,” NBC, 15.6 million