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TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' finale helps ABC topple CBS

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Dancingwiththestars_l
Happy Thanksgiving, ABC. According to preliminary data, the net finally triumphed over CBS’ Tuesday procedural block — and drew its largest primetime audience so far this fall — thanks to Dancing With the Stars’ season 7 closer. And, at press time, Monday and Tuesday’s Dancing episodes stand to top November sweeps.

But does DWTS deserve the first bite of turkey? Maybe not.  A hefty 20.6 million viewers tuned in on Tuesday night to watch Brooke Burke beat Warren Sapp, helping the dance series nab its top ratings of the season and best its Kristi Yamaguchi-led season 6 finale by 500,000 watchers. But last night’s DWTS still scored way below November 2007’s season 5 closer, when 24.9 million saw race car driver Helio Castroneves defeat Spice Girl Mel B. And it didn’t even come close to matching the show’s most-watched finale ever, season 3’s Emmitt Smith vs. Mario Lopez face-off in the fall of 2006, which attracted 27.5 million viewers.

Earlier on the alphabet net, a holiday airing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving drew 11.1 million viewers (its biggest audience ever on ABC) at 8 p.m., topping October’s It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’s 10.4 million.

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Second place CBS had a ho-hum night, with NCIS (18.2 million) and The Mentalist
(15.9 million) scoring only slightly higher than last week (18 mil and
15.8 million, respectively). And the special “let’s go to L.A.”
episode of the primarily New York-area set Without a Trace earned the show’s paltriest numbers of the year, only 10.4 million.

Over at Fox, House’s special 68-minute episode (guest-starring recent Damages Emmy-winner
Zeljko Ivanek) lured 12.5 million viewers at 8 p.m., the drama’s lowest tally since mid-September. Its follow up, Fringe, brought in 8.7 million viewers, a minor dip from last week’s 9.2 million.  But the bad news is really at NBC, where both 8 p.m.’s The Biggest Loser: Families and 10 p.m.’s Law & Order: SVU pulled their weakest ratings of the season (6.8 million and 8.5 million, respectively). 

The CW’s usual Tuesday tag-team of 90210 and Privileged sat last night out, making way for the 2003 Mandy Moore vehicle, How to Deal, which averaged a mere 900,000 viewers.

More TV News:

Dancing With the Stars recap

The Shield finale recap

Grey’s Anatomy: ABC testing Denny-Izzie romance

Obama daughters on Hannah Montana?

American Dad!: How will the Fox show change under President Obama?

House recap

Second place CBS had a ho-hum night, with NCIS (18.2 million) and The Mentalist(15.9 million) scoring only slightly higher than last week (18 mil and15.8 million, respectively). And the special “let’s go to L.A.”episode of the primarily New York-area set Without a Trace earned the show’s paltriest numbers of the year, only 10.4 million.

Over at Fox, House’s special 68-minute episode (guest-starring recent Damages Emmy-winnerZeljko Ivanek) lured 12.5 million viewers at 8 p.m., the drama’s lowest tally since mid-September. Its follow up, Fringe, brought in 8.7 million viewers, a minor dip from last week’s 9.2 million.  But the bad news is really at NBC, where both 8 p.m.’s The Biggest Loser: Families and 10 p.m.’s Law & Order: SVU pulled their weakest ratings of the season (6.8 million and 8.5 million, respectively). 

The CW’s usual Tuesday tag-team of 90210 and Privileged sat last night out, making way for the 2003 Mandy Moore vehicle, How to Deal, which averaged a mere 900,000 viewers.

More TV News:
Dancing With the Stars recap
The Shield finale recap
Grey’s Anatomy: ABC testing Denny-Izzie romance
Obama daughters on Hannah Montana?
American Dad!: How will the Fox show change under President Obama?
House recap

Originally posted November 26 2008 — 9:44 PM EST

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