Holiday ratings cheer for CBS

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CBS won the week before the Christmas holiday in both viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic, according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.

The network has won the viewership title all season, but it took the demo ahead of second-place NBC, which didn't have "Sunday Night Football" for the week to help it.

The peacock got the week started off well, winning Monday's primetime with "Deal or No Deal" (15.4 million, 4.4/12) and the first episode of "Identity" (12.3 million viewers, 4.4 rating/11 share) that ran through a night of mostly repeats on other networks. Other highlights included "CSI: Miami" (12.1 million, 3.8/10) winning at 10 p.m. against a repeat "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (4.5 million, 1.6/4) and an original episode of ABC's "What About Brian" (4.6 million, 2.0/5).

Tuesday belonged to Fox in the demo as two repeats of "House" (the 9 p.m. episode averaged 10.1 million viewers and a 3.9/10) led the network to the nightly win. The second episode of "Identity" (8.2 million, 2.9/8) didn't do as well at 8 p.m., beaten in viewership by CBS' "NCIS" (10.9 million, 2.4/7). ABC's "Big Day" got two shots Tuesday, one taking over "Help Me Help You's" time slot, but didn't do much with it: The 9 p.m. episode averaged 5.1 million viewers and a 1.8/5; the 9:30 p.m. episode averaged 4.2 million viewers and a 1.6/4.

Wednesday was solidly in CBS' court, with "King of Queens" (8.3 million, 2.8/8) squaring off against the third night of "Identity" (8.2 million, 3.0/9), which improved marginally. But CBS' repeats of "Criminal Minds" (10.2 million, 2.9/8) and "CSI: NY" (12.1 million, 3.8/11) were ahead of everything else.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (10.6 million, 3.6/11) helped CBS prevail Thursday as it won all three hours, including a repeat "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (12.9 million, 3.8/11) over ABC's repeat of "Grey's Anatomy" (9.1 million, 3.1/9) and "Shark" (10.2 million, 2.7/8) over everything at 10 p.m. NBC got a little help from "Identity" (9.5 million, 3.1/9), but the rest of its schedule was repeat sitcoms.

NBC won Friday with "Identity" (7.8 million, 2.4/8), while ABC's telecast of "The Sound of Music" (8.3 million, 2.4/8) was Saturday's sole highlight.

CBS got a major boost Sunday from 7-7:30 p.m. with the last half hour of the NFL — averaging 20.5 million viewers and a 6.9/29 in the demo — but that was about the only highlight of Christmas Eve, with "Desperate Housewives" and everything else in repeat.

Weekly averages: CBS (8.8 million, 2.5/8), NBC (7.3 million, 2.4/7), ABC (6.2 million, 2.0/6), Fox (5.6 million, 2.0/6 ) and the CW (2.5 million, 0.9/3).
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