Everwood ends big, Apprentice tanks

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Fans finally rallied around Everwood last night, as its series finale garnered 4 million viewers, a 10 percent improvement over the show's weekly average. The cult WB drama was a victim of the UPN/WB merger.

Two other finales aired last night to varied results. NBC's The Apprentice saw a series low with its 90-minute season-five finale, while Deal or No Deal, NBC's highest-rated show this season, reached series-high ratings.

NBC had held the finales of the two shows back until sweeps was over, ostensibly to build up excitement. The Apprentice is taking a brether next season--instead of two cycles, one in the fall and one in the winter, there will be just one, premiering in January of 2007.

At 8 p.m., Deal or No Deal took the crown with a 4.9 rating, followed by CBS with a King of Queens repeat at 2.1 and a How I Met Your Mother repeat at 1.9; ABC with a 1.9 for a rerun of Wife Swap; Fox with a 1.5 for the movie Rush Hour 2; Univision fifth with a 1.6 for La Fea Más Bella; the WB with 1.4 for Everwood's finale; and UPN with 0.7 for One on One and All of Us.

NBC led the 9 p.m. slot with a 5.5 for Deal, followed by CBS with a 2.4 for Two and a Half Men and repeats; Fox with a 2.1 for Rush Hour 2; WB's with 1.7 for Everwood; ABC's with 1.6 for a George Lopez repeat; and Univision with a 1.5 for Barrera de Amor.

At 9:30 p.m., Apprentice slouched in with a 4.3; CBS followed with 2.5 for a repeat of New Adventures of Old Christine; Fox continued with Rush Hour 2; WB scored 1.7 with Everwood; ABC notched 1.6 with the first half-hour of The ALMA Awards; and Univision with a 1.5 for Barrera de Amor.

At 10 p.m., Apprentice rose to 4.4, followed by CBS with a 3.4 for a CSI: Miami repeat; a 1.5 for ABC's ALMA; and Cristina on Univision with a 1.1.

NBC's brand-new finales helped it win the night against reruns, with a 4.9 average rating and a 14 share in 18 to 49s, followed by CBS with 2.6/8, Fox at 1.8/5, ABC at 1.6/5, the WB at 1.5/4, Univision at 1.4/4, and UPN in seventh with 0.8/3.

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