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On a night heavy on repeats and specials, an encore telecast of Fox drama “House” ruled as the top-rated program, carrying the net to victory in key demos.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “House” averaged a 4.7 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 11.9 million viewers overall to dominate the 9 o’clock hour over fellow repeat dramas “The Unit” on CBS (2.4/6 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” on NBC (2.4/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall). Also in the hour, ABC again did little with its comedy block of “Big Day” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) and “Help Me Help You” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall).

The Alphabet fared better in the night’s opening hour, winning in most key demo categories with spec “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall). It was a draw in the battle for second among young adults, with CBS repeat “NCIS” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) tying NBC’s original seg of “Friday Night Lights” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall). “NCIS” led the hour in total viewers while “Friday” prevailed in men 18-34.

And at 10, a repeat of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) was neck and neck for the slot lead with ABC’s original “Boston Legal” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall). CBS remained third in the hour, this week with the “Victoria Secret Fashion Show” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.5/9; ABC, 3.0/8; NBC, 2.7/7; CBS, 2.5/7; CW, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.5/4.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.1 million; Fox, 9.0 million; ABC, 9.0 million; NBC, 8.2 million; CW, 3.5 million; Univision, 3.5 million.