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Ratings: Holiday specials and surging reality fill out week's chart

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NBC’s powerhouse franchise Sunday Night Football again ruled the broadcast networks for the week ending Dec. 13. The sports program drew 20.9 million viewers, besting new episodes of CBS’ CSI and The Mentalist, which tied for the No. 2 spot, pulling in 16.4 million viewers. Rounding out the Top 5 for the week—shocker!—were also shows on the strong-performing CBS: No. 4 went to Sunday-night staple 60 Minutes with 16.2 million viewers and a repeat of television’s biggest scripted show NCIS landed at No. 5 with 15.1 million viewers. Not shabby at all for an episode that has already aired!

The rest of the Top 20—while littered with the usual suspects like No. 7 Criminal Minds (14.4 million viewers), No. 11 CSI: NY (13.0 million viewers), and No. 19 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (10.3 million viewers)—had a few surprises, due mostly to surging reality shows, which are nearly the end of their fall runs, and holiday-related specials. NBC’s The Biggest Loser attracted an astounding (for Biggest Loser) 13.5 million viewers to land at No. 9, while CBS’ Survivor: Samoa came in right behind at No. 10 with 13.3 million viewers. And ABC had a foursome of specials that made the Top 20: Disney Prep & Landing and Oprah’s primetime special Christmas at the White House, which tied at No. 13 with 12.0 million viewers; a repeat of the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, which, after all these years, still managed 11.2 million viewers, which was good enough for a No. 16 spot on the chart; and Barbara Walters’ annual 10 Most Fascinating People hour, which incensed 10.5 million viewers at No. 18.

The full list of shows in the Top 20—along with viewership totals—is after the jump.

1. Sunday Night Football | NBC | 20.9 million

2. CSI | CBS | 16.4 million

(tie) 2. The Mentalist | CBS | 16.4 million

4. 60 Minutes | CBS | 16.2 million

5. NCIS (R) | CBS | 15.1 million

6. Two and a Half Men | CBS | 14.8 million

7. Criminal Minds | CBS | 14.4 million

(tie) 7. The Big Bang Theory | CBS | 14.4 million

9. The Biggest Loser 8 | NBC | 13.5 million

10. Survivor: Samoa | CBS | 13.3 million

11. CSI: NY | CBS | 13.0 million

12. CSI: Miami | CBS | 12.7 million

13. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) | CBS | 12.0 million

(tie) 13. Disney Prep & Landing | ABC | 12.0 million

(tie) 13. Christmas at the Whitehouse: An Oprah Primetime Special | ABC | 12.0 million

16. A Charlie Brown Christmas | ABC | 11.2 million

17. Bones | Fox | 10.9 mllion

18. Barbara Walters Presents: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 | ABC | 10.5 million

19. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition | ABC | 10.3 million

(tie) 19. Cold Case | CBS | 10.3 million

Source: Nielsen

More from EW.com’s Hollywood Insider:

‘Dexter’ exclusive: Michael C. Hall talks about season 4’s killer finale

‘The Sing-Off’: An exclusive look at tonight’s set list

Ratings: Football, Oprah, and Tiger help make the season bright

Box office report: ‘Princess and the Frog’ crowned Queen

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