The Mentalist was no match for Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People special on Thursday.
The CBS procedural hit a series low, drawing 13.4 million viewers and a 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. Walters' ABC special, which featured Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Jersey Shore cast among others, attracted 12.2 million viewers and a 3.2 rating in the demo.
Gen. David Petraeus is Barbara Walters' most fascinating person of the year
CBS comedy $#*! My Dad Says also hit a season low of 9.5 million viewers and a 2.7 rating, following The Big Bang Theory, which drew 12.1 million and a 3.8 rating. CSI won the 9/8c hour with 13.1 million and a 3.0 rating.
Following close behind CSI was Walters' other news special, Oprah: The Next Chapter, which scored 13.1 million and a 2.9 rating. Earlier in the evening, ABC aired back-to-back holiday specials, Shrek the Halls (6.9 million, 1.8) and Prep & Landing (7.5 million, 2.1).
Special Christmas episodes of Community (4.7 million, 2.0) and The Office (7.6 million, 3.8) bumped the comedies up 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, with adults 18-49. 30 Rock attracted 5.2 million viewers and a 2.2 rating. The Apprentice season finale was the franchise's lowest-rated finale yet, with 4.5 million and a 1.8 rating.
Fox was steady with Bones (8.8 million, 2.3) and Fringe (5.3 million, 1.9).
On the CW, Vampire Diaries drew 3.1 million and a series-low rating of 1.3. Nikita attracted 2.3 million viewers and a 0.8 rating.