A week with reruns and Christmas saw a dip in TV viewing, but CBS retained its prime-time lead

Associated Press

During a holiday week of mostly reruns mixed with football, CBS retained its customary audience lead.

The Nielsen ratings company says CBS claimed 12 of the top 20 prime-time programs last week, with an average audience of 6.1 million viewers overall. NBC was right behind with 5.9 million, followed by ABC, Fox and Univision.

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Only football scored big. NBC's faceoff between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh was the week's most-watched broadcast, seen by nearly 21 million viewers. ESPN's coverage of the Denver vs. Cincinnati clash drew 16 million viewers to take third place.

That helped make ESPN the week's most popular cable network, averaging 4.3 million viewers.

As usual, NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts, followed by ABC's "World News" and the "CBS Evening News."