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Donny Osmond helps make 'Dancing With the Stars' No. 1

December 03, 2009|By from times wire reports

For one week at least, Donny Osmond was a big-time television star again.

Osmond's victorious turn on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" was Thanksgiving week's most popular prime-time TV program, narrowly beating CBS' "NCIS." The "Dancing" results show came in third, the Nielsen Co. said Wednesday.

Osmond is familiar with the prime-time television world, having hosted a variety show with his sister, Marie, three decades ago.

Still, with an audience of 19.29 million viewers, it was the lowest fall finale for the dancing competition, down 7% from a year ago. The 2006 fall finale averaged 27.52 million viewers.

Thanksgiving week represented the first drops of what is likely to be a flood of holiday-related shows on the broadcast networks. A Peanuts Thanksgiving special brought 6.5 million people to ABC last Thursday, while the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "A Dog Named Christmas" drew 12.4 million viewers to CBS.

The ABC special "Find My Family" drew notice; its 12.8 million viewers ranked within Nielsen's top 15.

The ESPN "Monday Night Football" game between Houston and Tennessee was the week's most-watched cable program with 12.08 million viewers, which would have placed it 17th among the week's programs on the five major broadcast networks.

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