'Rudolph' leads CBS to win in viewers

NEW YORK -- A visit from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brought an early Christmas to CBS, lighting the network's way to a win in viewership and a tie with NBC in the adults 18-49 demographic Tuesday.

Rudolph averaged 14.3 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/14 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. It was the top program of the night on broadcast TV in both measures, and up 13% in viewership and adults 18-49 from a year ago.

NBC won at 10 p.m. with "Law & Order: SVU" (11.7 million, 4.0/10), which was down from last week (4.6/12).

Meanwhile on Monday, NBC won a rare night in adults 18-49 and the ABC sitcom "Samantha Who?" (7.2 million, 2.9/6) fell back to earth with a 33% drop from its prior adults 18-49 average (4.3/10) when it was behind Dancing with the Stars. NBC's cycle finale of Heroes (11.1 million, 5.0/11) was the top show of the night in adults 18-49, with Dancing done and CSI: Miami and Two and a Half Men in repeats.

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