With little first-run competition, CBS had 10 of last week's 12 most-watched programs, and five of its series drew their largest audiences of the season.
CBS finished first for the 12th time in the 13 weeks of the season, averaging 11.14 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Dec. 13 and Monday, according to live-plus-same day viewing figures released Tuesday by The Nielsen Co.
Aided by a 19-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage in the Eastern and Central time zones, ``60 Minutes'' drew its largest audience since Dec. 14, 2008. The venerable newsmagazine show averaged 18.73 million viewers, finishing third for the week.
The two-hour, nine-minute season finale of ``Survivor: Nicaragua'' which followed averaged a season-high 13.59 million viewers, putting it eighth for the week.
Also drawing season-highs were ``NCIS: Los Angeles,'' averaging 16.82 million viewers to finish fifth; ``How I Met Your Mother,'' averaging 9.7 million viewers to finish 20th; and ``Rules of Engagement,'' averaging 9.59 million, 21st for the week.
As it has for each week of the season, CBS had the most-watched scripted series, half-hour comedy and new series.
``NCIS'' was the most-watched scripted program for the 10th time in the 10 weeks this season that an original episode has aired. It finished second overall, averaging 19.87 million viewers.
``Two and a Half Men'' was the most-watched half-hour comedy for the 12th time in 13 weeks, finishing sixth overall, averaging 13.95 million viewers.
The comedy ``Mike & Molly'' was the most-watched new series, finishing 11th overall, averaging 11.96 million viewers.
NBC finished second, averaging 8.5 million viewers. NBC's ``Sunday Night Football'' was the week's most-watched program, averaging 24.17 million viewers.
Outside of its football programming, NBC's most-watched program was the season finale of ``The Biggest Loser,'' which finished 15th for the week, averaging a season-high 11.05 million viewers.
ABC, which had six hours of original programming for the week, finished third, averaging 4.65 million viewers. Its most-watched program was a rebroadcast of the movie ``The Santa Clause 3,'' which finished 29th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 6.42 million viewers.
Fox, which had 3 1/2 hours of original programming for the week,finished fourth, averaging 4.61 million viewers. Its most-watched program was the season finale of ``Hell's Kitchen,'' 35th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 5.86 million viewers.
The CW, whose entire schedule consisted of reruns of ``The Vampire Diaries'' was fifth, averaging 1.34 million viewers. The most-watched episode was the one airing in its customary 8 p.m. Thursday time slot, averaging 1.91 million viewers, to finish 88th among the programs on the five major broadcast networks.
For the second consecutive week, NBC finished first among viewers ages 18-49, the group ABC and Fox Broadcasting also target and advertisers covet.
NBC also led among viewers ages 18-34 for the second consecutive week, while CBS was first among viewers ages 25-54 for the 12th time in the season's 13 weeks.
ESPN's ``Monday Night Football'' game between Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans Dec. 13 was the week's most-watched cable program. It averaged 11.93 million viewers, which would have ranked 11th among the week's programs on the five major broadcast networks.
ESPN was the week's most-watched cable network in prime time for the eighth consecutive week and 13th time in 15 weeks, averaging 3.03 million viewers.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.54 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Telemundo was second, averaging 920,000, followed by TeleFutura, which averaged 780,000, Azteca America, which averaged 240,000 and Estrella TV, which averaged 210,000.
The week's most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Wednesday episode of ``Soy tu Duena.'' The Univision telenovela averaged 6.7 million viewers, which would have put it 28th among the programs on the five major English-language networks.
NBC finished first among the network nightly newscasts for the 66th consecutive week and 113th time in the past 114 weeks, averaging 9.66 million viewers, followed by ABC (8.28 million) and CBS (6.22 million).
The week's 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC's ``Sunday Night Football''; CBS' ``NCIS'' and ``60 Minutes''; NBC's nine-minute ``Sunday Night Football'' pregame show; and CBS' ``NCIS: Los Angeles,'' ``Two and a Half Men,'' ``Criminal Minds,'' the ``Survivor: Nicaragua'' finale, ``The Big Bang Theory'' and Wednesday's ``Survivor: Nicaragua'' finale.