Pal's visit lifts 'Christine'


A special guest star again boosted a CBS comedy to record heights Monday night.

After last week's visit by Britney Spears to "How I Met Your Mother," Jason Alexander joined fellow "Seinfeld" alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the season finale of "The New Adventures of Old Christine." The comedy, which like "Mother" has been considered on the fence for a series renewal, posted its highest ratings in nearly two years.

The "Christine" lift helped CBS' Monday night leadership continue amid some week-over-week shifting. Winning the night among total viewers and the demo (12.7 million viewers, 4.4 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and an 11 share), CBS maintained its average from last week.

"The Big Bang Theory" was down 9% (8.7 million, 3.1/9). Following last week's record-setting episode, "Mother" dropped 11% (9.7 million, 4.0/11) but still garnered a quality number. "Two and a Half Men" was up a notch (14.4 million, 5.3/13). "Christine" went out on a high note, its season finale up 16% week-over-week (12.4 million, 4.4/11). "CSI: Miami" (15.5 million, 4.8/12) was down a tick from last week's return to originals.

ABC came in second with "Dancing With the Stars" down a peg from last week (20.2 million, 5.0/13). "The Bachelor: London Calling," starting earlier this week and including a few minutes of a "Dancing" overrun, bounced up 12% (8.8 million, 2.9/7).

NBC and Fox tied for third. NBC had "My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad" (4.4 million, 1.3/4), "Deal or No Deal" (10 million, 2.7/7) and "Medium" (9.5 million, 3.0/8). Fox had a repeat and "New Amsterdam" (6.6 million, 2.1/5). The CW had repeats (averaging 1.2 million, 0.5/1).

Elsewhere, the season premiere of "Sunday Night Baseball" on ESPN was the network's most-watched opening night ever, according to Nielsen Media Research. It averaged 3.6 million viewers for the Atlanta Braves-Washington Nationals matchup that was the inaugural game at the Nationals' new stadium in Washington.