By Lynette Rice
November 24, 2010 at 05:31 PM EST

Image Credit: Adam Larkey/ABCMore than 24.1 million people tuned in to Dancing With the Stars to see if Bristol Palin would win (she didn’t), which helped ABC achieve its most-watched Tuesday in three years. The two-hour finale won its time period in viewers and adults 18-49 (5.3 rating/15 share) and finished as the night’s No. 1 show by wide margins over CBS’ NCIS and Fox’s Glee, according to preliminary results.

The show even gained viewers and young adults throughout the broadcast: In the final half hour, the show lured 26.4 million viewers and posted a 6.0/17 in 18-49. (Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.3 million.) The results show brought another 4.8 million viewers to ABC compared to last year and posted a 23 percent gain in the key demo. That was also the finale’s biggest audience in six seasons and its best demo rating in five seasons.

Too bad No Ordinary Family ran before the finale and not after: It only earned a 1.8/5 in the demo and 6.9 million. Still, ABC easily won the night in 18-49 (4.1/12) and viewers (18.4 million).

OK, enough about the world of the mirror ball and Michael Chiklis. Glee was on, too, and earned bragging rights of its own. It was the highest-rated program of the night among adults 18-34 and teens, but the episode was down 20 percent in the 18-49 demo (to a 4.0/12) versus last week’s highly-rated Gwyneth Paltrow episode. Last night’s episode averaged 10.3 million. Raising Hope delivered a 2.4/7 among adults 18-49 and averaged 5.6 million viewers. It was followed by a Hope repeat. As a result, Fox had to settle for third place in the demo (3.0/9) and viewers (7.6 million).

CBS was second in 18-49 (3.1/9) and viewers (14.5), with NCIS earning a 3.9/11 and 18.7 million viewers, followed by NCIS: Los Angeles (3.2/9, 14.8 million) and The Good Wife (2.1/6, 9.4 million). NBC was fourth in the demo (2.2/6) and viewers (6.0 million), with The Biggest Loser earning a 2.4/7 and 6.7 million and Parenthood scoring a 1.9/5 and 4.4 million.

You, too, can score high ratings if you follow me on Twitter @EWLynette