Games were a top draw in tame week

Football was the top draw during the penultimate week of 2007 as the nets struggled to gain much traction with their few attempts at drawing auds with firstrun entertainment fare.

Both ABC (gameshow “Duel”) and NBC (“Clash of the Choirs”) drew modest numbers for their multinight runs of new shows, while original holiday specs on CBS and other nets mostly fizzled.

According to Nielsen, NBC won the Dec. 17-23 frame among adults 18-49 with a 2.5 rating/8 share, followed by CBS (2.3/7), Fox (1.9/6), ABC (1.7/5), ESPN and Univision (both 1.3/4), and USA (1.1/3).

NBC also tied with CBS for the lead among adults 25-54 (2.9/8) while winning among those 12-34 (2.3/7). The Eye had it in total viewers, averaging 8.6 million to NBC’s 7.5 million.

The Peacock was led by the “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings, which ranked second among all primetime programs in adults 18-49 (5.0 rating/15 share) and first in total viewers (14.1 million).

Only another football telecast — the Vikings against the Chicago Bears on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” — rated higher for the week in 18-49 (5.2/14), marking the first time this season that a cable telecast finished on top in the demo.

In addition to football, NBC was buoyed in its winning week by the fourth-season finale of weight-loss skein “The Biggest Loser” (4.6/13 in 18-49, 11.42m), which dominated its Tuesday 9-11 p.m. block in key demos.

Net also had the stronger performer of the two multinight newbies with “Clash of the Choirs.” The unscripted series averaged a 2.4/7 share in 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers overall for its seven hours, drawing consistent numbers throughout its run and occasionally winning its timeslot in some categories.

A key factor in the week for CBS was the 22-minute NFL overrun it got Sunday from the New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins contest. It averaged a 6.8 rating in 18-49 and helped lift “60 Minutes” (3.3/11, 13.52m) and “The Amazing Race” (2.8/8, 8.97m) to solid numbers.

Not so hot on Sunday was the two-hour spec “In God’s Name” (1.1/3, 3.97m). Net also didn’t do much with adoption special “Home for the Holidays” on Friday (0.8/3, 4.31m).

Top entertainment performers for the Eye were Monday vets “CSI: Miami” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.01m for an original) and “Two and a Half Men” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 11.28m for its hour of repeats) and repeats of Wednesday dramas “Criminal Minds” (2.9/8, 11.60m) and “CSI: NY” (2.9/8, 11.20m).

Fox had a quiet week, led by repeats of “House” on Tuesday (3.3/9. 9.92m) and Monday (2.6/7, 8.01m), while ABC was paced by a repeat of holiday theatrical “The Santa Clause 2″ on Sunday (2.7/8, 8.72m).

The Alphabet’s “Duel” settled for a an average of 2.0/6 in 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers overall for its six nights, with its lowest scores coming with its finale on Sunday.

Net also didn’t do a whole lot with specs “A Holiday Celebration at Ford’s Theater” on Wednesday (1.1/3, 4.75m) or “Elmo’s Christmas Countdown” on Sunday (1.3/4, 4.67m).

At CW, beauty pageant reality contest “Crowned” struggled in its second week on Wednesday (0.8/2, 1.81m), drawing the same numbers as an original episode of its lead-out drama, “Gossip Girl.”

Of note in cable were the conclusions of reality shows “Shot at Love: Tila Tequila” on MTV (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.22m) and “I Love New York 2″ on VH1 (2.7/7, 5.43m). Both were among the week’s top 15 primetime programs in adults 18-49, while standing as the top two telecasts among those 12-34.

USA, led as usual by Monday wrestling staple “WWE Raw” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.86m for its two hours), also got a boost from theatrical “The 40- Year-Old Virgin” on Friday (1.5/5, 3.68m), where it was neck and neck in 18-49 with the top broadcast nets.

TBS ran third among the cable nets in 18-49, thanks to repeats of “Family Guy” and two runs of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

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