Panthers Have Right Answer for Fox Prime

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Fox won the night in the 18-49 demo in prime time Monday with a 9.2 rating/21 share average, thanks to an NFL football playoff overun (Panthers vs. The Bears). The numbers could change slightly when the final ratings come in, but not enough to change the order of finish.

The 11.5 Fox averaged for the game in the first hour and 10 minutes of prime time, according to Nielsen Fast Affiliate overnight numbers, was enough to secure the victory, with an assist from the two-hour season premiere of 24 (about a 6.9 rating/14 share). Well, actually the first half of the season premiere, which stretches over four hours, with part two Monday at 8-10.

The highest-rated entertainment show in the demo was still ABC's Desperate Housewives, however, which handily beat the second hour of 24 9.5/20 to a 6.7/14.

The second-highest-rated show was ABC's Grey's Anatomy, which held most of its Housewives lead-in with an 8.6/20 for a dominant win at 10-11 (in second was NBC with a 3.6/8 for Crossing Jordan).

ABC was second on the night with a 7/16 average in the demo.

CBS was a distant third with a 2.7/6 for 60 Minutes Cold Case, and movie Jess Stone.

NBC was fifth with a 2.5/6. Its top show was Crossing Jordan. West Wing continued to sputter at a 1.6/4, (these days, it usually does about a 2 rating), though it was up against its toughest competition in months with the combination of an NFL playoff game and the debut of 24, which regularly airs on Monday.

Univision was fifth with a 2.1/5 and The WB sixth with a 1.1/2. Its top show was Charmed (1.4/3).