Keeping Eye on prize

CBS extends winning streak; NFL boosts NBC

CBS continued its winning streak last week, edging out a resurgent, football-fueled NBC.

The Eye finished the week ending Dec. 14 ahead among total viewers and adults 18-49, maintaining its season-to-date ratings lead. NBC was right on its heels, however, aided by a "Sunday Night Football" game that was the highest-rated primetime event all season.

CBS' "CSI" (20.9 million viewers, 5.8 rating/15 share in adults 18-49) landed in first place among scripted programming. The Thursday drama sported stronger-than-usual ratings thanks to a lack of competition from repeat-filled ABC and the debut of a character played by Laurence Fishburne.

The performance pushed 10 p.m.'s "Eleventh Hour" (13.4 million, 3.8/10) to a series high. Monday's "The Big Bang Theory" (10.5 million, 3.7/10) continued to climb, hitting a series high in viewers. And Sunday's two-hour finale of "Survivor: Gabon" (13.8 million, 4.4/10) posted a rating that was slightly above last spring's finale but below last fall's more appropriately comparable outing.

NBC placed second, with Sunday's New York Giants- Dallas Cowboys game (23.1 million, 8.6/21) the most-watched game in the three-year history of the franchise. The network's Thursday comedy block performed strongly, collectively hitting its highest rating in several weeks, led by "The Office" (8.7 million, 4.7/12). The penultimate "Biggest Loser" on Tuesday hit season highs.

Fox was third, paced by Tuesday's "House" (14.1 million, 5.6/15) and the second week of Wednesday's "Secret Millionaire" (7.3 million, 2.8/8), the latter growing from its performance in the same time slot a week earlier.

Fourth-place ABC's top shows were in repeats. The two-hour series finale of Monday's "Boston Legal" (9.9 million, 2.3/6) hit its best rating in the demo since the season premiere, and the annual telecast of "Charlie Brown Christmas" performed well Monday night.

Overall, CBS (11.9 million, 3.3/9) won the week, followed by NBC (8.8 million, 3.2/9), Fox (6 million, 2.2/6), ABC (6.3 million, 1.9/5), MyNetworkTV (2.4 million, 0.8/2) and the CW (1.5 million, 0.6/2). (partialdiff)
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