ABC visits the heights

Net wins week, has demo edge in sweep race

ABC won the weekly ratings race and took the lead in the November sweep with help from the American Music Awards and a surging "Dancing With the Stars."

For the sweep, ABC broke its tie with CBS and moved into a slight lead in the adult demo Tuesday, averaging a 3.2 rating compared with CBS' 3.1. CBS will win the month among total viewers.

ABC also overthrew CBS in the weekly race thanks to the best-rated American Music Awards (12.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/12 share in the key adults 18-49 demographic) in four years Sunday night as well as the Nov. 17 "Dancing" (11.6 million, 4.3/10) ramping up to its fall finale. Continuing to have one of the top-rated dramas with "Grey's Anatomy" (15.9 million, 6.2/15) -- which this week came in first place in the demo -- helped too.

CBS and Fox tied for second place, with the former posting a season-high rating from "How I Met Your Mother" (9.9 million, 4.4/11) as part of its strongest Monday since premiere week. Several other shows also hit season highs among total viewers, including the Wednesday comedy block of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (7.9 million, 2.4/7) and "Gary Unmarried" (7.9 million, 2.7/7).

Fox was headlined by the two-hour "24: Redemption" (12.1 million, 4.0/9), which delivered a solid performance against steep competition Sunday, as well the ongoing strength of Tuesday's "House" (13.3 million, 5.6/15) and "Fringe" (9.2 million, 4.1/10), the latter regaining control of its 9 p.m. period.

NBC was fourth, with "Sunday Night Football" (15.2 million, 5.6/14) -- featuring a last-minute thriller between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers -- leading the way and "ER" (8.9 million, 3.4/9) continuing to top Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Fifth-place CW was strengthened by Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model" (4.8 million, 2.3/7) finale.

For the week, ABC averaged 10.1 million viewers and a 3.2/8 in the demo, followed by CBS (12 million, 3.0/8), Fox (8.4 million, 3.0/8), NBC (7.1 million, 2.6/7) and the CW (2.2 million, 1.0/3).