Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Monday's ratings recap:
Shrek and the Grinch gave ABC the win for the hour, averaging 11.44 million total viewers. Repeats of Big Bang ("Pants must be worn at all times in the time machine!") and Mother (each drawing over eight mil) placed second.
Chuck claimed third with 7.25 mil, gaining 10 percent on this night of lighter competition, while Sarah Connor truly seized the moment, surging 26 percent to 5.83 mil, its largest audience since Sept. 22. Gossip Girl (3.08 mil) inched up 200K from its Nov. 17 season low.
Heroes flirted with eight mil (and won the back half of the hour), gaining 100 thou week-to-week. With her flashy Dancing lead-in now gone, Samantha Who? stumbled to the tune of 43 percent, averaging just 6.8 mil across back-to-back episodes.
Prison Break (5.8 mil) added 550K, while the first of Privileged's Monday "try-outs" delivered 2.2 mil, up 40 percent from its most recent Tuesday outing.
Even opposite a CSI: Miami repeat (see news story on Khandi Alexander's return visit), Boston Legal (8.4 mil, -300K) and Worst Enemy (4.03 mil, -220K) each slipped.
Sunday's first-season finale of Dexter drew an audience of 1.1 million total viewers, a 79 percent increase from the Oct. 1 series premiere, and Showtime's most-watched original-series episode since Nielsen started crunching the cabler's numbers. It also ranked as Showtime's most-viewed program of 2006.... ABC Family's "25 Days of Christmas" effort, fueled on Sunday by the premiere of Christmas Do-Over (2.7 million viewers) and a visit from the Grinch (3.5 million), led the network to double-digit gains versus a year ago.... Toby Keith's acting debut, Friday's Broken Bridges (1.4 million viewers), ranked among CMT's most-watched original telecasts ever.
Turning a blind eye to the horror that was The Grinch, Jim Carrey again will give life to a Dr. Seuss character, this time voicing the titular elephant in a CGI-animated take on Horton Hears a Who, Variety reports. The Office's Steve Carell will voice the Mayor of Whoville.... Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Christopher Lloyd ("Marty!!"), William H. Macy and Sigourney Weaver are among the voice cast of The Tale of Despereaux, an animated adaptation of the award-winning children's book about a mouse, a rat and a servant girl with cauliflower ears.... Warner Bros. is remaking Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, this time minus the "of Europe" (xenophobia alert!) and featuring Huff's Oliver Platt as a dessert chef's ex.