Rudolph Pulls CBS Sleigh Even With ABC

CBS nearly tied ABC in overnight ratings for Wednesday prime time, as odd couple Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and CSI gave ABC dominance of the night a run for its money.

ABC averaged a 5.4 rating/14 share among 18- to 49-year-old viewers during prime time, according to Nielsen fast national data. Meanwhile, CBS averaged a 5.3/14.

(Since fast nationals are based on time-period estimates, final ratings may change Wednesday's results.)

Fox (2.9/7) was the No. 3 network, followed by NBC (2.7/7), UPN (1.8/5) and The WB (1.3/3).

Holiday favorite Rudolph won the 8-9 p.m. hour with a 5.7/15, guiding Santa’s sleigh past NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center (2.0/5). Fox aired That ’70s Show (3.2/9) and Stacked (2.4/6); ABC offered sitcom duo George Lopez (2.5/7) and Freddie (3.1/8). UPN’s America’s Next Top Model scored a 2.5/7 and The WB’s One Tree Hill notched a 1.4/4.

The night's top-rated show, Lost, took the 9 o’clock hour with an 8.8/21. CBS’ Criminal Minds (4.9/12) finished second in the hour, followed by Fox’s Trading Spouses (3.0/7); NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (2.0/5); The WB’s Gilmore Girls repeat (1.2/3); and UPN’s Veronica Mars (1.2/3).

CBS took 10-11 p.m. with CSI: NY (5.4/14). ABC’s Invasion scored a 4.6/12 and NBC’s Law and Order tallied a 3.9/10.