CBS spikes in celebration after fantasy football game

Net has big week in viewers, 18-49

CBS came up big in primetime last week thanks to the highest-rated regular-season NFL game in 20 years, easily winning in viewership and coming oh-so-close to tying ABC in the adults 18-49 demographic.

The catalyst was a half-hour overrun of the New England Patriots-Indianapolis Colts game, which averaged a monster 33.8 million viewers and a 12.9 rating/38 share in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The week began Monday with another strong outing by ABC, with the one-two punch of "Dancing With the Stars" (21.4 million, 5.2/13) and the new sitcom "Samantha Who?" (14.2 million, 4.5/10). CBS won at 10 p.m. with "CSI: Miami" (14.8 million, 4.6/12), which rose above ABC's "The Bachelor" (9.8 million, 3.6/9) and NBC's "Journeyman" (5.7 million, 2.2/6).

Without the benefit of as many as three nights of World Series games thanks to the Boston Red Sox's sweep of the Colorado Rockies, Fox came in fourth place for the week. But "House" (17.3 million, 7.0/17) still put in a winning performance Tuesday, aided by "Bones" (9 million, 3.3/9), to win the night for Fox. ABC took second thanks to the timeless "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (11.4 million, 3.8/11) and the results show for "Dancing" (18.9 million, 4.3/10). Honorable mention went to CBS' "NCIS" (16.3 million, 3.3/9), while ABC's "Boston Legal" (11.4 million, 3.0/8) came out ahead of a repeat "Law & Order: SVU" (8.6 million, 2.9/8) on NBC.

CBS and ABC tied for the adults 18-49 lead on Wednesday, during which viewership was lower because of Halloween. ABC won at 8 p.m. with "Pushing Daisies" (8.6 million, 2.7/8), which was diminished because of the holiday against a two-hour NBC special "Phenomenon" (6.2 million, 2.3/7) and CBS' "Kid Nation" (6.7 million, 2.0/6). ABC's "Private Practice" (11.3 million, 3.8/10) came out ahead of CBS' "Criminal Minds" (14.9 million, 3.6/10) at 9 p.m., while CBS' "CSI: NY" (13.4 million, 3.6/10) won handily against newcomers "Dirty Sexy Money" (8.2 million, 2.8/8) on ABC and "Life" (5.7 million, 1.9/5) on NBC.

Thursday's primetime went to ABC, with "Grey's Anatomy" (19.3 million, 8.1/19) winning viewership and adults 18-49 against CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (19.1 million, 5.7/14), while the Eye took 8 p.m. with "Survivor: China" (14.4 million, 4.9/13) and 10 p.m. with "Without a Trace" (14.6 million, 3.9/10). NBC's highlight was "The Office" (8.4 million, 4.5/11).

CBS won Friday night with "Ghost Whisperer" (9.2 million, 2.5/9), the highest-rated show of the night, while "Moonlight" (7.5 million, 2.2/7) beat out ABC's "Women's Murder Club" (9.6 million, 2.0/6) in adults 18-49. Saturday went to CBS, with the LSU-Alabama football game (6.3 million, 2.2/9) leading the way.

NBC won Sunday night — despite CBS' big head-start — thanks to "Sunday Night Football" (16.4 million, 6.7/16), which rolled over almost everything else in its way with the exception of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" (18.6 million, 7.0/18). Notable on Sunday was Fox's "Family Guy" (10.5 million, 5.3/12) and "The Simpsons" (11.7 million, 5.7/13) as well as the premiere of CBS' "The Amazing Race" (13.7 million, 4.3/10) and the strong out-of-football "60 Minutes" (19.2 million, 5.0/12).

For the week, ABC (11.3 million, 3.6/10) led the way in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (12.3 million, 3.5/10), NBC (8 million, 3.0/8), Fox (7 million, 2.7/7) and the CW (2.6 million, 1.0/3).