CBS takes viewers, demo

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NEW YORK -- CBS won in both viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic during a week that featured no original episodes of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Desperate Housewives" or "Grey's Anatomy" but "NCIS" was the most-watched show in primetime.

Its performance -- which also included Sunday's "Survivor: Cook Islands" finale -- gave it the 13th consecutive weekly win in viewers and tied with ABC in the season-to-date lead in adults 18-49. (CBS has an overwhelming lead in viewership so far this year.)

The two-hour "Survivor" finale averaged 16.4 million viewers and a 5.7 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, easily winning in viewership, but was beaten by a 10th of a ratings point by the San Diego Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs "Sunday Night Football" game (15.3 million, 5.8/14). Even though CBS followed it up with a relatively strong "Survivor: Reunion" (13.5 million, 5.1/13), Sunday night went to NBC in adults 18-49.

CBS had better luck last Monday, when its comedy and drama lineup overwhelmingly won in viewership and the demo even though NBC got it started early with "Deal or No Deal" (16.7 million, 4.6/13) that towered over everything else at 8 p.m. CBS came roaring back at 9 p.m. with the best demo ratings in two months for "Two and a Half Men" (15.7 million, 5.1/13) and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (12 million, 4.1/10). "CSI: Miami" (16 million, 4.9/13) easily defeated ABC's faltering "What About Brian" (4.7 million, 2.2/6) and NBC's two-hour TV movie "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (7.4 million, 2.5/6).

Tuesday's strong stories belonged to "NCIS" (17.4 million, 4.2/12), which was the week's most-watched show, the first time it had ever had that honor, and Fox's "House" (16.1 million, 6.5/17), which was broadcast TV's highest-rated show in the demo. A Barbara Walters' special (8.8 million, 3.1/9) won in the demo at 10 p.m. against repeats.

NBC was the big winner with the two-hour finale of "The Biggest Loser," (11.7 million, 4.8/13) that got past the strong "Criminal Minds" (16.1 million, 4.7/12) in the demo.

Even without a new "CSI" or "Shark," CBS had "Survivor: Cook Islands" (14.5 million, 5.0/14) and that was enough to win at 8 p.m. against a special one-hour "The Office" (8.4 million, 3.9/11). Against repeats on the other networks, "Scrubs" (7.7 million, 3.8/10) and "30 Rock" (5.9 million, 2.8/8) held to their season averages.

CBS won again Friday night with "Ghost Whisperer" (9.7 million, 2.9/10) defeating "1 vs. 100" (8.8 million, 2.3/8). "Close to Home" (9.6 million, 2.5/8) tied with NBC's "Las Vegas" (8.4 million, 2.5/8) in the demo, while "Numbers" (11.2 million, 3.1/10) got past a repeat "Law & Order" and "20/20."

Among evening newscasts, NBC and ABC split victories for the week of Dec. 11. NBC's 9 million viewers was tops to ABC's 8.4 million and CBS' 7.5 million. But ABC's 2.2/8 in the adults 25-54 demographic edged out NBC's 2.2/8 -- 2.67 million to 2.64 million -- while CBS was in third place with a 1.9/7 in the demo.

Weekly averages: ABC (7.3 million, 2.5/7); CBS (12.3 million, 3.7/10); NBC (9.1 million, 3.2/9); Fox (7.3 million, 2.9/8); and CW (2.5 million, 1.0/3).
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