CBS GOES 12 FOR 12

CBS has kept its perfect record intact as it won the twelfth week of the TV season with an average 7.5 rating and a 12 share and placed six shows in the top ten of Nielsen's ratings list, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which came in first. NBC, however, landed in first place among adults 18-49 -- the demographic group most prized by advertisers -- for the second week in a row. It ranked second among overall viewers, posting a 6.6/11. ABC, which presented a heavy load of reruns, fell to third place, registering a 5.3/9. Fox, which appears to be in a holding pattern until the midseason debut of American Idol next month, trailed with a 3.9/6.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 14.2/21; 2. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 12.8/20; 3. 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.5/17; 4. Deal or No Deal (Monday), NBC, 10.4/16; 5. Survivor: Cook Islands, CBS, 9.5/15; 6. Shark, CBS, 9.3/15; 7. Without a Trace, CBS, 9.1/16; 8. Criminal Minds, CBS, 9.0/14; 9. Heroes, NBC, 8.9/13; 10. Cold Case, CBS, 8.8/13.

COURIC'S VIEWERS FLOCK TO GIBSON

The contest for ratings supremacy among the three network nightly newscasts increasingly looked like a two-man race last week as viewers continued to desert the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. Most of the disaffected viewers appeared to be heading towards ABC's World News With Charles Gibson, which won the week among adults 25-54, the key demographic group for news shows. NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams continued to draw the most viewers, however -- 9,120,000 versus ABC's 9,000,000. By contrast, the Couric newscast appeared almost out of the running, with just 7,450,000 viewers -- 10 percent fewer viewers than those attracted by Bob Schieffer during the comparable week a year ago and the smallest audience for the Couric newscast since it was launched in September. But in an interview with today's (Wednesday) Hollywood Reporter, Connie Chung, who co-anchored the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather from 1993 to 1995, said, "TV viewing rarely changes dramatically, whereas programmers do. I think Katie's holding her own nicely."

GE CHIEF PAINTS COLORFUL PICTURE OF PEACOCK

GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt gave a strong vote of confidence Tuesday to executives at the NBC network and predicted that profits for the company will increase by about 5 percent in 2007. "We've got more work to do," Immelt told the company's outlook conference in New York Tuesday, "but I like the progress the team has done." Immelt observed that ratings for the network have climbed substantially this year, particularly among adults 18-49. He called the new series Heroes the biggest hit of the year and boasted that Sunday Night Football and Deal or No Deal, along with Heroes, regularly occupy places among the top-ten TV shows the week. "We've had a phenomenal year, a killer year," Immelt said of the network's performance.

PRODUCERS REWARD MUNCIE SUSPECTS

Suspects arrested during the taping of the forthcoming Armed and Famous reality series have been offered money in exchange for signing a release allowing their faces to be shown on television, the Muncie, IN Star Press reported on Tuesday. The show features actors Erik Estrada, Jack Osbourne and LaToya Jackson, who have been sworn in as members of the Muncie police department and issued weapons as they film arrests made by regular Muncie police officers. One woman told the newspaper that her 23-year-old son had accepted $150 in return for signing a release after he was arrested on a warrant and misdemeanor marijuana charge. (He later said he used the money to help cover the costs of his bail.) "No amount of money is worth the pain and hurt that I'm feeling as a parent," Dorothy Woods remarked. Another man said that he accepted $400 from the producers after they originally offered him a T-shirt that said, "I got arrested by a celebrity and all I got is this lousy T-shirt."

BET'S AMERICAN GANGSTER BECOMES ONLINE HIT

BET's controversial American Gangster, a kind of black Sopranos, has become one of the ten most-downloaded cable TV shows on the iTunes Music Store, the Viacom-owned cable network said Tuesday. In a statement, BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee said, "As the world's most popular digital download store, iTunes is a key platform for serving our existing audience of African-American media super-consumers, and for introducing our breakthrough programming franchises to other audiences." The network also boasted that the show has become the No. 1 original series on cable among Black households.

A.P. CAMERAMAN KILLED IN IRAQ

An Iraqi cameraman working for the Associated Press has become the latest journalist to die in the Iraq conflict. The A.P. said that 35-year-old Aswan Ahmen Lutfallah had been having his car repaired in Mosul when he witnessed insurgents and police fighting nearby, grabbed his camera, and headed for the scene. A police official said that when the insurgents spotted Lutfallah filming them, they shot and killed him. In a statement, A.P. President and CEO Tom Curley said, "The murder of yet another journalist underscores the particular dangers of this conflict and the sacrifices of those committed to reporting the story."

RAYMOND DAD PETER BOYLE DEAD AT 71

Peter Boyle, best known for his role as the father on CBSs Everyone Loves Raymond and in movies as the monster in Mel BrooksՕs Young Frankenstein (1974) and the bigoted factory worker in Joe (1970), has died in New York of complications from cancer and heart disease. He was 71.

Brian B.