A schedule liberally laced with saccharine holiday specials won last week for CBS, while an extra dose of "Greed" got beleaguered Fox its first win of the season among the coveted 18-49 crowd. Hmmmm.
Here's a look at the week's naughty and nice:
"Frasier." For the first time since March, the NBC sitcom was the week's most watched show. The episode was the first of a two-parter in which dense Daphne finally learns that Niles has had a thing for her for the past six years.
"Frosty the Snowman." On CBS for 31 years and still a Top 10 player, the animated snowman iced all of his Wednesday competitors, including original episodes of ABC's "Spin City" and "Oh Grow Up," Fox's "That '70s Show" and "Ally," and UPN's "Shasta McNasty" and "Dilbert," as well as reruns of WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and NBC's "Just Shoot Me" and "3rd Rock From the Sun." "Frosty the Snowman" and "Frosty Returns" were the week's top two shows among kid viewers and boosted "60 Minutes II," which followed, to its best rating ever among adults 18-34.
"Billboard Music Awards." In its seventh Fox-cast, the music trophy show pulled down its third-biggest audience--more than 12.1 million--and the network's biggest Wednesday crowd this season with entertainment programming.
"A Season for Miracles." Averaging 22.2 million viewers, CBS's "Hallmark Hall of Fame" Sunday movie was the second-most-watched program last week. It was also the No. 4-ranked movie of the season, behind ABC's musical "Annie" (26.3 million), Julie Andrews and James Garner's "One Special Night" (26 million) and Jack Lemmon's "Tuesdays With Morrie" (22.5 million).
"Greed." Fox won Friday among young adults, thanks to Chuck Woolery's first outing on the night. And its one-hour collection of more than 9 million watchers ran laps around "Harsh Realm's" 5-million-and-change average in the 9-10 p.m. slot. Expect Fox to make this a regular Friday thing.
"Cinderelmo." Keri Russell, her long hair magically restored, did her best to keep up with Elmo, Bert and Ernie on this Fox holiday special, which managed to outperform the last four broadcasts of "Time of Your Life" in the Monday 8 p.m. time slot.
"And So, This Is Christmas." And so, CBS learned that there is such a thing as too much Celine Dion, as this holiday special sank well short of "Family Law's" average in the Monday 10 p.m. time slot.
"Totally Out of Control: Nature." When it comes to totally out of control, people are more interested in vehicles than nature. Last week's "TOOC" "special"-- we're using the phrase loosely--snagged just 6 million viewers; one week earlier, "TOOC: Vehicles" scooped up nearly 9 million.
"Garfield's Christmas." This was the very first time, and this will be the very last time, that CBS aired its 12-year-old holiday special on a weekend. In its 12th broadcast, the animated special at 8 p.m. Saturday scored its smallest audience ever by a mile--7.42 million viewers, compared with last year's audience of nearly 12 million.
"Snoops." David E. Kelley's freshman drama series suffered its smallest audience ever on Sunday, 7.5 million people, dragging "The Practice," which followed, to its smallest audience for an original episode in nearly nine months and ABC's smallest overall Sunday audience this season. Make that David E. Kelley's canceled freshman drama series.
"Christmas in Washington." Last year it posted an all-time low on NBC of 8.3 million watchers, and NBC dropped it. TNT picked up the show and saw it plunge 70 percent on Sunday, to 2.5 million viewers, which is the cable network's usual audience for Sundays from 8 to 9 p.m.
"Evita." The "network television premiere" of the Madonna flick, on TNT, was of interest to only about 1.3 million folks, which is actually a couple hundred thousand fewer than usually watch TNT--available in about 77 million homes--on Sundays from 9 to midnight.
The 10 most watched programs last week, in order, were: NBC's "Frasier"; CBS's Sunday Movie "A Season for Miracles"; ABC's "Monday Night Football"; CBS's "Touched by an Angel"; NBC's "Friends," "Stark Raving Mad," "Jesse" and "ER"; CBS's Wednesday movie "A Holiday Romance"; and CBS's "Frosty Returns," tied with Fox's "The X-Files."
CAPTION: They're jolly, happy souls at CBS, thanks to "Frosty the Snowman."