ABC steps to Tues. victory with 'Dancing'


"Dancing With the Stars" and ABC came up big Tuesday, waltzing their way to the nightly win on the penultimate night of competition between Mario Lopez and Emmitt Smith. Meanwhile, CBS had a slow start with medical drama "3 Lbs." in the 10 p.m. hour.

More than 26.8 million people tuned in to the penultimate episode of "Dancing" from 8-9:30 p.m. and scored a 7.5 rating and 20 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. ABC's new William Shatner-hosted game show, "Show Me the Money" (12.4 million, 3.8/10), debuted in the 9:30-11 p.m. slot.

"Dancing," which had its hourlong finale Wednesday, was far and away the top show on television Tuesday, but CBS put up respectable numbers for "NCIS" (15.8 million, 4.1/11) from 8-9 p.m. That was not the case for NBC's "Friday Night Lights" (5.5 million, 2.3/6) or Fox's "Standoff" (4.6 million, 2.0/5).

The 9 p.m. hour was dominated by the final 30 minutes of fancy footwork on "Dancing," but Fox had a strong second place in the demo with "House" (14.5 million, 6.2/15). CBS' "The Unit" fell to 11.5 million viewers and a 3.4/8, which was ahead of NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (9.1 million, 3.1/8).

NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" (14.8 million, 5.3/15) took the 10 p.m. hour as usual, making it an uphill climb for the debut of CBS' "3 Lbs." (9.9 million, 2.9/8)

For the night, it was ABC by a few ballrooms with an average of 19.7 million viewers and a 5.7/15 in adults 18-49.