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Ratings: '60 Minutes' tops blockbuster week for CBS

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Surprise! Another score for unlikely ratings winner 60 Minutes, which hit it big again, winning the ratings for the second straight week (Nov. 10-16). The 40-year-old CBS newsmagazine’s interview with President-elect Barack Obama and future First Lady Michelle Obama drew 25.1 million viewers, the largest audience of the fall season for a single program on a single network. (Technically, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates garnered more overall attention, but they aired on multiple channels.) But the record breaking at 60 Minutes doesn’t stop there: The episode was also the show’s highest-rated since 1999, it marked the first time that the series has been No. 1 two weeks in a row since 1993, and it even won the week in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo. Overall this season, 60 Minutes is averaging 15.7 million viewers — an increase of 12 percent over last year — and it sits at No. 9 in the season-to-date rankings.

In other sweet news for CBS, the Tiffany network drew 18.7 million viewers for No. 4 NCIS (pictured), the biggest audience in the five-year history of Mark Harmon’s military-crime procedural, while No. 7 The Mentalist (16.5 million) and No. 27 The Big Bang Theory (10.0 million) also garnered series-high ratings. Meanwhile, over on ABC, No. 6 Desperate Housewives (16.8 million viewers) enjoyed its most-watched episode since its September premiere, and No. 10 Grey’s Anatomy (14.9 million) did nicely, too. Fox’s highest-rated show, House, turned up at No. 14 with 13.1 million viewers.

CBS dominated the Top 20, of course, with 13 shows. ABC boasted two segments of Dancing With the Stars and the CMA Awards. And NBC’s sole representative was Sunday Night Football (19.3 million) at No. 2.  The full list is after the jump.

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1. 60 Minutes | CBS | 25.1 million
2. Sunday Night Football | NBC | 19.3 million
3. CSI | CBS | 19.3 million
4. NCIS | CBS | 18.7 million
    Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 18.7 million
6. Desperate Housewives | ABC | 16.8 million
7. Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 16.5 million
    The Mentalist | CBS | 16.5 million
9. CMA Awards | ABC | 15.9 million
10. Grey’s Anatomy | ABC | 14.9 million
11. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.8 million
12. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 14.5 million
13. CSI: Miami | CBS | 13.8 million
14. House | Fox | 13.1 million
15. Survivor: Gabon | CBS | 12.9 million
16. Cold Case | CBS | 12.3 million
17. Without a Trace | CBS | 12.2 million
18. The Amazing Race | CBS | 12.1 million
19. Eleventh Hour | CBS | 11.6 million
      CSI: NY | CBS | 11.6 million

Of note out of the Top 20: Coming in at No. 29 with 9.9 million viewers, NBC’s ER grabbed its highest viewership in 13 months with a guest spot by former cast member Anthony Edwards. ABC’s Barbara Walters Special, in which she interviewed pregnant man Thomas Beatie, was No. 40 with 8.1 million viewers. NBC’s 30 Rock (7.6 million) was No. 45, but it dropped by 500,000 viewers from last week — even with its much-hyped guest spots from Jennifer Aniston and “some of the cast of Night Court.” And Univision’s telecast of the Latin Grammy Awards rolled in at No. 58 with a quite-astonishing 5.8 million viewers. In fact, 15 Univision programs drew bigger audiences than anything from The CW, which shows just how small the viewership is for the fledgling network. Its top program, America’s Next Top Model (3.7 million), wound up way down in 91st place.

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1. 60 Minutes | CBS | 25.1 million
2. Sunday Night Football | NBC | 19.3 million
3. CSI | CBS | 19.3 million
4. NCIS | CBS | 18.7 million
    Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 18.7 million
6. Desperate Housewives | ABC | 16.8 million
7. Dancing with the Stars | ABC | 16.5 million
    The Mentalist | CBS | 16.5 million
9. CMA Awards | ABC | 15.9 million
10. Grey’s Anatomy | ABC | 14.9 million
11. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.8 million
12. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 14.5 million
13. CSI: Miami | CBS | 13.8 million
14. House | Fox | 13.1 million
15. Survivor: Gabon | CBS | 12.9 million
16. Cold Case | CBS | 12.3 million
17. Without a Trace | CBS | 12.2 million
18. The Amazing Race | CBS | 12.1 million
19. Eleventh Hour | CBS | 11.6 million
      CSI: NY | CBS | 11.6 million

Of note out of the Top 20: Coming in at No. 29 with 9.9 million viewers, NBC’s ER grabbed its highest viewership in 13 months with a guest spot by former cast member Anthony Edwards. ABC’s Barbara Walters Special, in which she interviewed pregnant man Thomas Beatie, was No. 40 with 8.1 million viewers. NBC’s 30 Rock (7.6 million) was No. 45, but it dropped by 500,000 viewers from last week — even with its much-hyped guest spots from Jennifer Aniston and “some of the cast of Night Court.” And Univision’s telecast of the Latin Grammy Awards rolled in at No. 58 with a quite-astonishing 5.8 million viewers. In fact, 15 Univision programs drew bigger audiences than anything from The CW, which shows just how small the viewership is for the fledgling network. Its top program, America’s Next Top Model (3.7 million), wound up way down in 91st place.

More TV News:
How I Met Your Mother hits a ratings high
Gossip Girl recap
Dancing With the Stars recap
Heroes recap