Like some of its characters, Desperate Housewives appears to be benefiting from the misfortunes of others -- the "others" in this case being CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on CBS and Grey's Anatomy on ABC, last year's two top scripted shows, which have cut into each other's ratings by airing opposite one another this season on Thursday nights. Housewives has also seen a rating fall-off, largely due to competition from NFL football on NBC, but when all the smoke cleared last week, it was solidly in place in as the top scripted entertainment show with a 13.9 rating and a 20 share, its best numbers of the season, beaten only by the penultimate episode of Dancing With The Stars (14.1/20). Each of the networks had something to boast about as Nielsen Research released its latest ratings. CBS could claim that most viewers overall; ABC could claim the most in the adults 18-49 demographic category, the group most courted by advertisers; NBC could claim honors as the most-improved network and for mounting the biggest new hit of the season, Heroes; and Fox could claim continued strength for its drama House and also for the long-running animated sitcom The Simpsons. Among the nightly newscasts, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams came out well ahead during election week with 9.8 million viewers; ABC's World News with Charles Gibson placed second with 8.8 million viewers; while the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric remained in third place with 7.7 million. It was the first time this season that the CBS newscast produced fewer viewers than it did a year ago when it was hosted by Bob Schieffer.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. Dancing With the Stars, ABC, 14.1/20; 2. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 13.9/20; 3. Dancing With the Stars Results, ABC, 13.7/21; 4. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 13.5/20; 5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 12.6/19; 6. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 12.4/19; 7. Dancing With the Stars Recap (Tuesday), ABC, 11.6/17; 8. Criminal Minds, CBS, 11.1/17; 9. CSI: NY, CBS, 10.9/18; 10. 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.8/17.