ABC, NBC share Wed. primetime spotlight

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NEW YORK -- ABC and NBC split victories in Wednesday's primetime, with a new episode of "Private Practice" rising to the top in adults 18-49 in the face of a repeat "Criminal Minds" and a two-hour "Deal or No Deal."

ABC was the top network in adults 18-49, while NBC won the night in viewership, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. Final data is expected later Thursday.

ABC's gains were led by "Practice" (10.3 million, 3.8/10), which beat a repeat "Criminal Minds" (9.4 million, 2.5/6) as well as the last hour of a two-hour "Deal or No Deal" (11.5 million, 2.9/8). Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" ( 5.3 million, 2.6/7) was third in the 9 p.m. hour.

The network won at 8 p.m. with "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (9.4 million, 3.4/9), which was down 11% from last year. It beat a new "Kid Nation" (7.2 million, 2.1/6) as well as the first hour of "Deal or No Deal" and repeats on Fox. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" (4.6 million, 2.3/6) came in third at 8 p.m. in adults 18-49 and won the hour in adults 18-34.

A repeat "CSI: NY" (10.3 million, 2.7/8) beat ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" (6.9 million, 2.4/7) and NBC's "Life" (7.6 million, 2.5/7) at 10 p.m.

For the night, ABC (8.9 million, 3.2/9) won over CBS (9 million, 2.4/7), NBC (10.2 million, 2.7/7), Fox (5.3 million, 2.2/6) and the CW (3.5 million, 1.7/5).
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