'Jericho,' 'Criminal Minds' give CBS Wed. win

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NEW YORK -- A new viewership high for "Criminal Minds" and good ratings for "Jericho" boosted CBS to a Wednesday win in viewership and the adults 18-49 demographic.

"Criminal Minds" was the night's top show in viewership and just missed out as the night's top show in the demo to "CSI: Miami," according to preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research.

The Mandy Patankin crime drama averaged 17.9 million viewers and a 5.0 rating/13 share in adults 18-49, its highest number in both viewership and the adults 25-54 demo. It squashed everything else in its way at 9 p.m., and surpassed "CSI: NY" (16.2 million, 5.1/14) in viewership and was one-tenth of a point off the lead in adults 18-49.

The CBS winning streak began at 8 p.m., when "Jericho" (10.3 million, 3.1/9) won in viewership and just missed tying Fox's "Bones" (8.9 million, 3.2/9) in adults 18-49. It was "Bones" highest rating so far this season in adults 18-49. NBC's telecast of "Christmas in Rock Center" averaged 9.4 million viewers and a 2.6/7, which was well ahead of ABC's game show "Show Me The Money" (7.8 million, 2.2/6). "America's Next Top Model" averaged 5.8 million viewers and a 2.8/8.

NBC did better at 9 p.m. with "The Biggest Loser" (9.2 million, 3.6/9) but ABC didn't. "Daybreak" (4.7 million, 1.8/5) fell 40% from its prior season average in the demo. That was barely ahead of The CW's "One Tree Hill" (4.2 million, 1.8/5).

Beyond "CSI: NY," ABC and NBC were relatively tied with a special edition of "20/20" (7 million, 2.8/8) and "Medium" (8 million, 3.0/8).

Nightly averages: ABC (6.5 million, 2.3/6); CBS (14.8 million, 4.4/12); NBC (8.8 million, 3.1/8); Fox (7.5 million, 2.7/7); and The CW (5 million, 2.3/6).
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