'House' Wins Night; 'Cane' Halts Descent

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

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You know that scene in action movies where the hero is trapped in a flooding room, the water has risen to the his head, he's up against the ceiling and straining to breath inside that last couple inches of air?
Cane
That's CBS' "Cane," which last night managed to stop the compartment from flooding after five consecutive weeks of ratings drops.

The show has a 2.0 preliminary Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49, matching last week. Had the numbers sunk further, the rating would have gone from unacceptable-during-any-season-except-this-one to unacceptable-even-with-a-pending-writers-strike. CBS plans to wait another week to see if "Cane" can start bailing out and give itself some breathing room.

Otherwise, Fox won the night with "Bones" (3.2 and on par) and "House" (7.0, down 8 percent from last week).

ABC was second with perennial favorite "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (3.8). Even after 41 years, the "Charlie Brown" special won the 8 p.m. hour, besting CBS' "NCIS," Fox's "Bones" and NBC's "The Singing Bee." ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" results show followed and was down slightly (4.2). "Boston Legal" was average (3.1).

CBS and NBC tied for third. CBS offered "NCIS" (down 13 percent to a 2.2), "The Unit" (down 7 percent to a 2.8) and "Cane" (2.0). NBC had "Bee" (1.7), "The Biggest Loser" (down 10 percent to a 2.8) and a "Law & Order: SVU" repeat (3.0).

The CW aired a clip show for "Beauty and the Geek" (1.1), which didn't help "Reaper" (1.1).