Maybe everyone was too busy Christmas shopping last week to plop down in front of the tube. Viewership was down for all the networks, according to Nielsen, with the week’s most-watched show turning out to be Monday’s rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond that drew an audience of just under 17 million. The CBS sitcom’s slight victory over ABC’s NFL Monday Night Football (16.2 million) set the pattern for the week, which saw CBS averaging a primetime audience of 10.02 million, eking out a victory over ABC’s 9.65 million.
NBC, which barely landed two shows in the top 20 (both of them from the Law & Order franchise), finished third for the week with an average of 6.98 million. Fox, whose highlight for the week was the season finale of The Swan (boy, Fox execs must be champing at the bit for the return of American Idol next month), finished in fourth place with 5.81 million. UPN scored 2.77 million viewers to the WB’s 2.31 million.