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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Dec. 7) -- a Carrie Christmas for Fox

Carrie and company in crowd-pleasing holiday special. Fox photo

Fox warmed up for January's return of American Idol with brisk ratings for a two-hour holiday special starring Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood.

It began with the sacred Christmas classic, "Cowboy Casanova." But no matter. Underwood eventually got around to singing "O Holy Night" to the tune of 237,521 D-FW viewers in Monday's 7 to 9 p.m. slot. The special beat all competing broadcast network programming, save for CBS' new episode of Two and a Half Men, which had 257,195 viewers from 8 to 8:30 p..m. while Underwood and friends drew 251,093 viewers in that half-hour segment. But the Fox special outpointed all of its 7 to 9 p.m. rivals among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds.

ABC's evergreen Santa Claus is Comin' to Town had 135,726 total viewers from 7 to 8 p.m., ranking third in that measurement and with 18-to-49-year-olds.

A new episode of CBS' CSI: Miami dominated at 9 p.m. with the night's biggest broadcast audience -- 264,666 total viewers. It also had a cakewalk with 18-to-49-year-olds. NBC's The Jay Leno Show, after a rare time slot victory Friday, fell back to earth with No. 4 finishes in both ratings measurements.

In the cable universe, the Green Bay Packers' clutch win over the Ravens at frigid Lambeau Field averaged 359,674 total viewers on ESPN's Monday Night Football to rank as Monday's overall lion king. Uncle Barky's native state Green 'n' Gold improved to an 8-4 record, same as the Cowboys. Playoff rematch, anybody?

TNT's launch of the the serio-comic drama series Men of a Certain Age had 88,222 total viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, nearly beating Leno. Syfy's two-hour conclusion of its Alice miniseries drooped to 33,932 viewers after Sunday's Part 1 had 54,290.

In local news derby results, CBS11 racked up twin wins at 10 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the principal target audience for news programming.

NBC5 again did likewise at 6 a.m. while Fox4 swept the 5 p.m. competitions. It was a split decision at 6 p.m., with WFAA8 on narrowly top with total viewers and Fox4 winning by a comfier margin among 25-to-54-year-olds.