'Dexter' season finale hits network high

'Kardashians' premiere is E!'s most-watched in seven years

The fourth-season finale of Showtime's "Dexter" blew away all modern records for the network.

The brutal "Dexter" closer drew 2.6 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched series episode ever on Showtime, and the most-watched telecast on the network since a Mike Tyson fight in 1999. "Dexter" was 54% higher than last year's finale.

The season three finale of "Californication" was also a series high, 1.1 million viewers, though dropped considerably from its lead-in.

E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" also had a record-setting episode Sunday, the fourth-season premiere drawing a record 4.1 million viewers. That made it the most-watched telecast on the network in seven years.

While TV Guide's "I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story" drew 1.1 milion viewers, ranking as the network's most-watched TV special in its history.

On broadcast, "Oprah's Christmas at the White House" special performed solid for ABC on Sunday evening, drawing 11.8 million viewers and a 2.8 preliminary rating.

Aside from the American Music Awards, that's ABC largest audience in the time period this season, despite its 10 p.m. slot having a reduced lead-in from a two-hour "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (10.3 million, 3.1) instead of "Desperate Housewives" this week.

NBC's telecast of "Sunday Night Football" once again dominated overall, the Philadelphia at NY Giants game drawing strong early numbers (18.6 million, 7.0). CBS' airing of "60 Minutes" (14.6 million, 3.1), "Cold Case" (9.8 million, 2.1), and crime drama repeats was boosted by some NFL overrun. Fox's animation block was down, with "The Simpsons" (7.1 million, 3.2), "Cleveland" (6.5 million, 3.0), "Family Guy" (7.7 million, 3.8) hitting season lows, followed by "American Dad" (6.2 million, 3.1).