A pair of firstrun dramas, Fox’s “House” and CBS’ “NCIS,” were the top draws on Tuesday, while ABC’s comedies again fizzled on the night.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “House” (6.5 rating/17 share in adults 18-49, 16.1 million viewers overall) dominated the 9 o’clock hour in all key measures and stood as the night’s No. 1 program in key demos; for the season, the show is up about 30% vs. the same time a year ago. The medical drama again excelled despite a weak lead-in from rookie drama “Standoff” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall). Fox led the night in adults 18-49.

At CBS, “NCIS” (4.3/12 in 18-49, 17.4 million viewers overall) won the 8 o’clock hour in most categories and logged its best 18-49 score of the season. Leadout “The Unit” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall) was also on the high end for CBS, which led the night in adults 25-54 and total viewers.

ABC shined at 8 with a one-hour spec “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), which easily led its slot in kids 2-11 (6.6/21) and also prevailed in persons 12-34 (2.9/9). Net then tanked in the middle hour with firstrun comedies “Big Day” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and “Help Me Help You” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) before rising at 10 with Barbara Walters’ annual “Most Fascinating People” spec (3.1/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall).

NBC was an also-ran all night with an original seg of “Friday Night Lights” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and repeats of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.2/11; CBS, 3.7/10; ABC, 2.9/8; NBC, 2.4/7; Univision, 1.6/4; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 13.8 million; Fox, 10.6 million; ABC, 8.0 million; NBC, 7.3 million; Univision, 3.7 millin; CW, 2.0 million.