"CBS stayed on top at 8 p.m. with "60 Minutes" and "Cold Case" averaging 11.7/17. ABC improved to 9.7/14 with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." A new episode of "The Simpsons," 5.9/9, and "The War at Home," 4.6/7, moved FOX past "The West Wing" on NBC and into third. "Charmed" posted a 2.3/3 for The WB."
From Broadcasting & Cable:
"NBC was a distant fourth with a 2.6/6. It's top show was Crossing Jordan, with a 3.6/9 at 10. The West Wing averaged a lackluster 1.9/5 for an episode dedicated to the late John Spencer (VP candidate and former Bartlett administration Chief of staff, Leo McGarry), who died of a heart attack."
From Media Life:
"The death of “West Wing” star John Spencer did not spark new interest in the long-fading show when it returned last night from a nearly month-long hiatus.
In it first new episode since Spencer’s death in December, “West Wing” tied a season-low with a 1.9 overnight rating among viewers 18-49 last night, 17 percent lower than the 2.3 overnight rating the show had averaged through its first nine episodes of the season.
There has been much speculation over what NBC will do with the show now that Spencer, who played vice presidential candidate Leo McGarry, is gone. The show has five more new episodes in which Spencer appeared already filmed, but NBC has not said what its new strategy would be.
The death of Spencer, who had also starred in NBC’s “LA Law,” got lots of attention, but apparently that did not drive former “Wing” viewers back to the show.
In fact, with Sunday night becoming increasingly competitive, it appears as if viewers are further abandoning “West Wing.” Just 7.3 million viewers tuned into the show last night, fourth in its 8 p.m. timeslot."
Ratings on NBC in the time period last week from Zap2It:
"CBS took the reins at 8 p.m. with "Cold Case," 7.3/12, moving ABC up to second place with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," 6.0/10. The first of two "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" episodes snagged a 4.2/7 for NBC and FOX gave over the rest of its night to the movie "Vertical Limit." The WB hung in with "Charmed," 1.5/2."
Guide to TV Ratings here.
Ratings for rerun December 25
Ratings for last episode