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Good Grief! 'Charlie' Scores

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In its first appearance since the death of cartoon strip creator Charles M. Schulz (who died of cancer at the beginning of this year), CBS’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” proved a Nielsen ratings champ last week, attracting nearly 19 million viewers. This represents a 45% jump in viewership since last year and the holiday special’s best performance since 1995. So golden, in fact, were the antics of Charlie, Lucy, Snoopy and the gang that CBS is re-broadcasting the show on Christmas night at 8. Another popular TV special last week was the end of the presidential election. But probably few viewers are hoping that anything like that is ever rebroadcast again. (The rating is the percentage of the nation’s estimated 100.8 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 1,008,000 households.) The Top 10 for the week of Dec. 11-17:

1. “ER,” NBC, 20.2, 20.7 million homes

2. “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (Wednesday), ABC, 15.3, 15.7 million homes

3. “Friends,” NBC, 15.1, 15.5 million homes

4. (tie) “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 13.9, 14.3 million homes

4. (tie) “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (Tuesday), ABC, 13.9, 14.2 million homes

6. “Will & Grace,” NBC, 13.5, 13.8 million homes

7. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 13.0, 13.3 million homes

8. “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (Thursday), ABC, 12.9, 13.2 million homes

9. “The Practice,” ABC, 12.7, 13 million homes

10. (tie) “ABC Special Report: Gore Concession Speech,” ABC, 12.6, 12.9 million homes

10. (tie) “Just Shoot Me,” NBC, 12.6, 12.9 million homes