Ratings: Dexter Slays Records, Oprah at the White House Does OK
Michelle and Barack Obama, Oprah
The Season 4 finale of Dexter pulled in the show's largest audience ever and was the best telecast for Showtime in more than a decade.
The finale was watched by 2.6 million viewers, a 71 percent increase from the previous season's final episode. The strong audience also led Californication to its best numbers ever (1.1 million viewers) and a similar increase over the previous season-ender.
On the networks, football remained the Sunday night king, as NBC's coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants matchup averaged 18.1 million viewers. While CBS aired repeats of The Mentalist (10.8 million viewers) and Criminal Minds (8.9 million viewers) and a new Cold Case (9.9 million viewers), ABC did fair with a two-hour Extreme Makeover Home Edition (10.3 million viewers).
Oprah Winfrey's White House Christmas special pulled in a respectable 11.8 million viewers. The special, however, was rated below what Brothers & Sisters usually averages among adults 18-to-49 during that hour.
Thanks to a NFL overrun, Fox's comedies were all down from their last original episodes in November. The Simpsons (7.1 million viewers) was hurt the most, sliding 23 percent in the demo, while The Cleveland Show (6.5 million viewers), Family Guy (7.7 million viewers) and American Dad (6.2 million viewers) slide 9, 13 and 6 percent in the demo, respectively.