The "Dancing" finale gave ABC a win for the night (although Fox's "House" was the highest-rated show) among adults 18 to 49 and total viewers. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" opened the night strong for ABC and won the 8 p.m. hour (with a 4.6 preliminary Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49, down slightly from last year). The 90-minute "Dancing" (6.4) saw race-car driver Helio Castroneves win the top prize.
Fox was second with an on-par "Bones" (3.4) and "House" (7.0).
Third place goes to NBC, which had a two-hour "Biggest Loser" (an average 3.1, and doesn't this show's ever-changing episode length seem to mimic the yo-yoing of its contestants' waistlines?), followed by a similarly average "Law & Order: SVU" (4.6).
CBS had a rough night, with "NCIS" (3.3) and "The Unit" (2.9) on the low side. The network's real headache was at 10 p.m., however, with "Cane" (1.6) resuming its descent and dropping to an alarming new low against the "Dancing" finale. CBS has shown strike-inspired patience with this drama, but that number likely rules out a pickup.
The CW's "Beauty and the Geek" was on par (1.3), but alas, poor "Reaper" (1.0). Watching the supernatural drama's creative and ratings struggles is like a movie where the hero is frantically giving CPR to his lifeless love interest—"Breathe, damn you!"