NBC makes 'Deal' for Mon. victory

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NEW YORK -- "Deal or No Deal" and a new game show, "Identity," made NBC victorious in Monday primetime during a night of mostly repeats on the other networks.

"Deal Or No Deal" was the night's top show in viewership and tied with "Identity" was the night's top show in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"Deal or No Deal" (15.3 million, 4.4/12) was the runaway winner at 8 p.m., handily defeating repeats of ABC's "Wife Swap" (6.6 million, 2.4/7), Fox's "House" (7.6 million, 2.5/7) and CBS sitcoms "How I Met Your Mother" (6.5 million, 2.2/6) and "The Class" (5.7 million, 2.0/5).

NBC got good news with the premiere of "Identity" (12.2 million, 4.4/11), the Penn Gillette-hosted game show that takes the place of "Heroes" until the runaway hit drama returns. It held its adults 18-49 lead-in and dropped only slightly in viewership from half hour to half hour although it was down significantly in the demo from "Heroes."

Only ABC's "Supernanny" (6.5 million, 2.4/6) was original against "Identity" and only a repeat of "Two and a Half Men" (10.9 million, 3.4/9) could muster any competition.

Being the only original show in the 10 p.m. hour didn't help "What About Brian" (4.5 million, 2.0/5), which hit its lowest rating ever and below this season's 2.6/7 average. No surprise that a repeat of "CSI: Miami" (12.3 million, 3.9/10) beat "Brian" and a repeat of NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (4.6 million, 1.7/4).

Nightly averages: ABC (5.9 million, 2.3/6); CBS (9.4 million, 3.0/8); NBC (10.7 million, 3.5/9); Fox (6.9 million, 2.3/6); and The CW (2.1 million, 0.8/2).
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