Housewives' handy as ABC wins week

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NEW YORK -- Sunday's "Desperate Housewives" helped lift ABC to a Thanksgiving-week win in the adults 18-49 demographic while CBS grabbed yet another victory in viewership.

ABC's average of a 3.9 rating/11 share in the adults 18-49 demographic placed the network comfortably ahead of its Big Four rivals, which all averaged a 3.3/9 for the week, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS took its 10th consecutive primetime win in viewership, with 12.2 million viewers compared with ABC's 10.6 million, NBC's 9.7 million and Fox's 8.3 million. It was ABC's ninth win in the demographic in the 10 weeks of the season.

With the conclusion of the November sweep tonight, ABC and CBS are projected to split the victory: ABC will win in adults 18-49 with a 4.1 average versus second-place CBS' 3.8, while CBS will win in viewership with 12.9 million viewers versus ABC's 11.6 million. NBC is the only one of the four major networks to show November 2005-November 2006 increases, with third-place showings in the demo (3.7) and viewership (10.4 million).

The week's top two shows in the demo belonged to ABC: "Housewives" (21.4 million, 8.5/19) prevailed over a Thanksgiving edition of "Grey's Anatomy" (18.5 million, 7.6/20). Coming in third is this year's biggest new show, "Heroes" (16 million, 6.9/16), ahead of "House" (15.2 million, 6.4/16) and "CSI: Miami" (18.5 million, 6.0/15).

Rounding out the top 10 in the demo were NBC's "Sunday Night Football" (15.2 million, 5.9/14); "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (17.2 million, 5.2/14); "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (14.6 million, 5.2/12); "Deal or No Deal" (17 million, 5.0/13); and ABC's "Saturday Night Football" (14.6 million, 5.0/16) featuring the matchup between Notre Dame and USC.

The top 10 shows in viewership looked somewhat the same, with "Housewives" again taking the lead over second-place "CSI: Miami" and top fivers "Grey's," "CSI" and "NCIS" (17 million, 4.2/12). Rounding out the top 10 were "Deal or No Deal"; "Criminal Minds" (16.6 million, 4.3/12); "Heroes"; "CSI: NY" (15.3 million, 4.2/12); and "Sunday Night Football."

In a shortened holiday week, NBC won the evening newscast battle in viewership and the adults 25-54 demographic. "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" averaged 9.5 million viewers, compared with the 8.5 million for "ABC World News With Charles Gibson" and the 8 million for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." NBC won in the demo with a 2.3 rating, compared with ABC's 2.2 and CBS' 2.0.

For the week, ABC averaged 10.6 million viewers and a 3.9 rating/11 share, followed by CBS (12.2 million, 3.3/9), NBC (9.7 million, 3.3/9), Fox (8.3 million, 3.3/9) and the CW (3.1 million, 2.3/4).
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