NBC riding on wings of 'Heroes'

Peacock wins 18-49 demo; CBS still No. 1 in viewers

Led by "Heroes," "Deal or No Deal" and football, NBC was the demo champ for the week ending Dec. 3, which overlapped with the final three nights of the November sweep.

Meanwhile, CBS extended its winning streak in total viewers to 11 weeks and the CW posted its best weekly numbers to date.

The rookie superhero drama "Heroes" (15.6 million, 6.8/16) continues to be NBC's big success story this season with a No. 3 finish for the week among adults 18-49 behind established hits "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC (24.0 million, 9.5/23) and "House" (17.3 million, 6.9/17) on Fox.

NBC's Emmy-winning comedy "The Office" (9.1 million, 4.4/11) also had a strong week, hitting a season high in 18-49 in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. slot, but the news was not all good for NBC's newly launched two-hour Thursday comedy block.

Airing against a repeat of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," NBC's new Thursday 9 p.m. anchor "Scrubs" got off to a slow sixth-season start with 7.2 million viewers and a 3.6/9 in 18-49, down from the 3.8/9 the show logged for its fifth-season premiere on a Tuesday in January.

The network's struggling new comedy "30 Rock" (6 million, 2.7/7) slipped even further at 9:30 p.m.

ABC also didn't get much traction with its new Thursday addition. In its debut in the Thursday 10 p.m. slot, freshman dramedy "Men in Trees" delivered 11.3 million viewers and a 3.8/10 in 18-49, down 60% from its big "Grey's" demo lead-in and 30% from the premiere in the same time period of the now-benched "Six Degrees." With the transplant from the less-watched Friday night to Thursday, "Men," starring Anne Heche, still delivered its highest numbers in all key demographics.

Also soft was the series premiere of ABC's new comedy "Big Day," which opened to 7.6 million viewers and a 2.8/7 among adults 18-49 in the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot, dropping 42% from its "Charlie Brown Christmas" robust demo numbers. Without "Dancing With the Stars" as a lead-in, ABC's freshman comedy "Help Me Help You" (5.0 million, 1.8/4) at 9:30 p.m. fell to its lowest numbers ever.

It was a strong week for dramas overall with several series hitting season highs: CBS' "NCIS" in total viewers (18 million), Fox's "Bones" in adults 18-49 (3.1/8), NBC's "Las Vegas" in total viewers (10.2 million) and adults 18-49 (3.2/10), the CW's "One Tree Hill" in adults 18-34 (2.6/7) and "Gilmore Girls" in adults 18-34 (2.6/8) and total viewers (4.9 million).

CBS' red-hot sophomore drama "Criminal Minds" broke another series record, drawing its largest audience ever (17.9 million). Meanwhile, the CW's drama "Veronica Mars" posted a series best in adults 18-34 (2.0/5).

Two serialized dramas — Fox's "Prison Break" and CBS' "Jericho" — had solid fall finales. "Prison Break" tied its highest 18-49 rating for the season, while "Jericho" posted its best numbers in a month.

Theatrical movies, a dying breed on broadcast TV, also had a good week with the broadcast premiere of "The Polar Express" (13.2 million, 4.1/12) on ABC logging the best numbers for a theatrical film on broadcast TV in almost three years.

For the week, NBC averaged 10.4 million viewers and a 3.7/10 among adults 18-49 to CBS' 11.8 million, 3.4/9. ABC (10.1 million, 3.5/9) was second in adults 18-49, followed by Fox (8.2 million, 3.3/9).

The CW had its best week yet with an average of 3.8 million viewers and a 1.8/5 in adults 18-34.
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