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Groban, Eagles albums get boosts

The two best-selling albums in the country for the week ending Dec. 2 got a big push from another medium: television.

Josh Groban's Christmas collection "Noel" enjoys a second week atop the Billboard 200, powered by his second appearance in as many weeks on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the talker's favorite things episode featured a pair of performances by Groban. The result: a 33% sales bump to more than half a million copies. Merry Christmas, Josh.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' new kid in town "Long Road Out of Eden" got a huge boost from the band's Nov. 25 appearance on "60 Minutes." The double album enjoyed a 70% surge to 313,000 units, putting its five-week cume at an attention- getting 1.77 million units.

In a slow week for new releases — Pitbull's "The Boatlift" (TVT) is the highest debutant at No. 50 — two albums ascend into the top tier, including one that's quite familiar with the territory. Miley Cyrus' double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus," a former No. 1, rockets back up to No. 7, while tinsel-time specialist Mannheim Steamroller unwraps its third top 10 disc with "Christmas Song."

There are 26 holiday titles on the Billboard 200 this week, compared with 20 at this time last year. Last year's list was led by Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" at No. 7 and the "Now That's What I Call Christmas! 3" compilation at No. 10.

Album sales are down 12.1% from last week at 12.3 million units and off 16.9% from the same week in 2006.

Billboard analyst Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.

1 1 Josh Groban Noel 539,000

2 5 Eagles Long Road Out of Eden 313,000

3 2 Alicia Keys As I Am 257,000

4 3 Various Artists Now 26 127,000

5 4 Garth Brooks The Ultimate Hits 112,000

6 6 Various Artists High School Musical 2 98,000

7 12 Miley Cyrus Hannah Montana 2 96,000

8 8 Celine Dion Taking Chances 93,000

9 7 Carrie Underwood Carnival Ride 89,000

10 21 Mann. Steamroller Christmas Song 77,000