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Ratings: Santa Up, TV Down

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Television took a backseat to Santa Claus last week, as primetime ratings took a dip amid holiday festivities, according to Nielsen. On the other hand, the networks dished up a lot of reruns, which could explain the high number of viewers who tuned in such fresh events as St. Louis and Tampa battling it out on “Monday Night Football” and the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” college tournament. (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 Dec. 18-24:

1. “NFL Monday Night Football: St. Louis at Tampa Bay,” ABC, 15.2, 15.6 million homes

2. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (Tuesday), ABC, 14.5, 14.9 million homes.

3. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (Wednesday), ABC, 13.4, 13.7 million homes

4. “Everybody Loves Raymond,” CBS, 13.2, 13.5 million homes

5. “Law and Order,” NBC, 12.6, 12.9 million homes

6. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (Thursday), ABC, 12.3, 12.6 million homes

7. “Judging Amy,” CBS, 12.2, 12.5 million homes

8. “The West Wing,” NBC, 12.1, 12.4 million homes

9. “Becker,” CBS, 11.7, 12 million homes

10. “NFL Monday Showcase,” ABC, 11.2, 11.5 million homes