CBS racked up another weekly ratings win, but ABC was on its heels with the four hottest shows among young viewers and four of the top five among all viewers -- in both cases, "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost" and "Monday Night Football."
Here's a look at the week's most and least:
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." On the final night of the November ratings sweeps, the 41-year-old holiday special really brought home the bacon for CBS, snagging its biggest crowd since 1999 -- nearly 16 million viewers -- making mincemeat out of what passes for a holiday special these days on NBC -- "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" starring "Today" show weatherman Al Roker (9.5 million viewers) as well as everything on any other network Wednesday at 8 p.m.
"Biggest Loser." NBC's fat-to-fit reality series wrapped its second season with its biggest audience ever (16 million) and NBC's strongest non-Olympics results in that Tuesday slot in four years. Among women 18 to 34, it was No. 3 for the week, tied with ABC's "Lost."
"Prison Break." The "fall" finale of this freshman drama clocked its biggest audience yet, 12.2 million. Fox recently decided to launch the remaining episodes early -- in March.
"Monk." The NBC-owned USA Network's blowout Christmas special, in which Mr. Monk goes undercover as Santa, copped the show's biggest audience (5.5 million) since its fourth-season debut in July, beating NBC's own "Dateline" Friday at 10.
"Monday Night Football." The battle between undefeated Indianapolis and Pittsburgh brought in the franchise's biggest crowd (nearly 23 milion) in nearly five years.
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." The animated holiday special, which had not appeared on a broadcast network since the '80s, logged nearly 9 million viewers for ABC Friday -- considerably better than the 6.1 million "Supernanny" average. Among kids it posted ABC's best performance in the hour in three years and finished the week ranked No. 2.
NBC holiday specials. There may always be, as last night's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" creator Charles Schulz said, a market for innocence, but there doesn't seem to be much of a market for NBC marketing parading as holiday specials. Wednesday, the Roker and Megan Mullally-hosted "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" -- aka plug for "Today" and "Will & Grace" -- got stomped by Rudolph; Friday, "Happy Elf" -- aka plug for DVD by frequent NBC guest Harry Connick Jr., now available on NBC's Web site, got smashed by ABC's "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town."
"Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again." Remember how, same time last year, we called CBS's "Dallas" reunion special a Loser because it logged 12.7 million viewers? Of course you do! Well, never mind. CBS's "Knots Landing" reunion special Friday mustered 7 million, which just goes to show that everything's relative.
Pope John Paul II flicks. You knew ABC and CBS were having second thoughts about their pope flicks when they scheduled them outside a sweeps period. Good call. It appears about 7 million people are interested in the subject; ABC's logged 6.7 million viewers on Thursday and Part 1 of CBS's logged 7.5 million on Sunday.
Babs Walters. You may think the boring list of done-to-death-ers like Tom Cruise and Kanye West (and, really, Camilla Parker Bowles is the most fascinating person of 2005?) caused Walters's 10 Most Fascinating People to plunge from last year's 16.3 million viewers to Tuesday's 13 million. But actually it's because last year Babs had a "Lost" lead-in of nearly 19 million viewers; this year's "Commander in Chief" lead-in snagged under 14 million.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: ABC's "Desperate Housewives"; CBS's "CSI"; ABC's "Monday Night Football," "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy"; CBS's "Survivor: Guatemala," "CSI: Miami" and "NCIS"; NBC's "Law & Order: SVU"; and CBS's "60 Minutes."