'Rudolph' leads CBS to win in viewers


NEW YORK -- A visit from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" brought an early Christmas to CBS, lighting the network's way to a win in viewership and a tie with NBC in the adults 18-49 demographic Tuesday.

"Rudolph" averaged 14.3 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. It was the top program of the night on broadcast TV in both measures, and up 13% in viewership and adults 18-49 from a year ago.

NBC won at 10 p.m. with "Law & Order: SVU" (11.7 million, 4.0/10), which was down from last week (4.6/12).

Meanwhile on Monday, NBC won a rare night in adults 18-49 and the ABC sitcom "Samantha Who?" (7.2 million, 2.9/6) fell back to earth with a 33% drop from its prior adults 18-49 average (4.3/10) when it was behind "Dancing with the Stars." NBC's cycle finale of "Heroes" (11.1 million, 5.0/11) was the top show of the night in adults 18-49, with "Dancing" done and "CSI: Miami" and "Two and a Half Men" in repeats.

In Tuesday's primetime, CBS (11.1 million, 3.5/9) and NBC (9.4 million, 3.5/9) tied for first place in adults 18-49 against ABC (7.5 million, 2.2/6); Fox (9.3 million, 3.0/8) and the CW (2.5 million, 1.2/3).