The media battle between former coworkers Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters resumed on Wednesday night, as each woman rolled out her own TV special. In the end, however, only one stood tall: Walters, whose interview with President-elect Barack Obama and First Lady-to-be Michelle Obama on ABC’s Barbara Walters Special netted 11.7 million viewers at 10 p.m. That was the night’s third best total and a huge improvement on the 5.6 mil people who watched Dirty Sexy Money in the same period a week prior. (Indeed, on a slow Thanksgiving eve, the only shows to boast a ratings boost over the previous week in the same time slot were Walters’ program and NBC’s 9 p.m. airing of Deal or No Deal, which bettered last week’s Life.)
O’Donnell’s Rosie Live special on NBC, meanwhile, drew a mere 5 mil pairs of eyeballs in the 8 p.m. hour. That was the night’s fifth smallest audience, and a sum that was down from the 5.2 mil viewers who tuned into the ratings-challenged Knight Rider last week.
Otherwise, things played out pretty much per usual. CBS easily won the evening, thanks to the night’s top-watched program, Criminal Minds (14 mil viewers at 9 p.m.), as well as No. 2 CSI: New York (12.2 mil at 10 p.m.), and the 8 p.m.-9 p.m. comedy block of Gary Unmarried (7.7 mil) and The New Adventures of Old Christine (7.6 mil).
Elsewhere, Fox got a boost from Bones (9.8 mil at 8 p.m.), but no help from a rerun of House (4.9 mil at 9 p.m.). Besides the Barbara and Barack show, ABC struggled with Pushing Daisies (4.5 mil at 8 p.m.) and Private Practice (6.2 mil at 9 p.m.). NBC effectively conceded the night early with O’Donnell’s poor showing and then saw Deal or No Deal and Law & Order draw twin 6.3 mil viewerships at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. And the CW was a non-factor with Stylista installments that couldn’t even crack 1 mil. How un-fabulous!
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