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How Big Was Gossip Girl's Threesome?

Gossip Girl, Jessica Szohr, Penn Badgley, Hilary Duff Giovanni Rufino/ The CW

How many people had their Lizzie Maguire memories destroyed by Gossip Girl last night? How bad did Rihanna's interview show up Chris Brown's? And why would Saturday Night Live never dream of pulling a Kanye West on Taylor Swift ?

The answers—and more questions (about Mad Men, Kate Gosselin and more)—in this week's TV ratings quiz:

1. So, was that threesome good for Gossip Girl? It wasn't bad, especially considering the event was nothing more explicit than three people (Penn Badgley, Jessica Szhor and Disney grad Hilary Duff) not kissing at the same time. The series was up 20 percent from last week: 2.4 million viewers versus 1.95 million, per Nielsen stats. The math worked out even better for the CW: It enjoyed its most-watched Monday of the season.

2. What were the two most surprising things about the episode? One, the show lost viewers in its threesome-boasting final half-hour; two, teenage boys chose to watch The Big Bang Theory instead. (The show did best, per usual, among young adult women.)

3. If you counted all the the times MTV aired its Chris Brown interview special over the weekend, would they add up to Rihanna's one 20/20 appearance? Nope. The half-dozen or so Brown broadcasts added up to 3.3 million viewers, with no single telecast scoring more than 679,000 gawkers. Rihanna's 20/20 interview averaged 8.4 million on Friday night.

4. Why would SNL not be inclined to grab the mic back from Taylor Swift? Because Saturday's show, featuring Swift as host and musical guest, was the late-night franchise's highest-rated episode of the season in the overnight ratings, NBC said.

5. Where is Kate Gosselin going? Nowhere. Her second special as a TLC solo act, Kate: Her Story, was even bigger than the first. Its 3.8 million viewers made it the week's top cable reality show.

6. Where is Mad Men going? Unlike Don and Betty Draper's marriage, onward and upward. Sunday's season-three finale was the AMC series' biggest yet: 2.3 million viewers.

7. Who loves a wedding? Take a wild guess. Sunday's two-hour Keeping Up With the Kardashians, featuring the nuptials of Khloé Kardashian and basketballer Lamar Odom, hooked 3.2 million, and led E! to its most-watched day in network history.

8. Why should every cable star be thankful SpongeBob SquarePants rarely works in prime time? Because when he does, the l'il Nick dude is huge. The Friday night premiere of SpongeBob's Truth or Square averaged 7.7 million, more than any show on cable last week, save ESPN's Monday Night Football (12.4 million).

9. What was V's most impressive accomplishment? The ABC sci-fi series just wasn't a top-rated new series; it was the week's most-watched scripted show among the demographically desirable, topping even Grey's Anatomy.

As an added bonus, here's a look at the week's winners and losers:

• Winners: Baseball and Fox. Game 6 of the World Series was TV's No. 1 show (22.3 million); overall, the series was the most-watched Fall Classic in five years.

• Loser: Eastwick. The ABC show got beat by NBC's Jay Leno (4.8 million viewers to 4.4 million), and learned it won't be invited back after its first (and last) 13 episodes are completed.

• Toss-Up: On the plus side, Lifetime's Project Runway came to its senses and cut nice-guy Christopher. On the downside, the show lost steam heading into its Fashion Week showdown (from 3.2 million viewers the previous week to 2.8 million last week). And on the revenge side, spurned Bravo nearly matched Runway with its Real Housewives of Orange County season premiere (2.6 million).  

(Originally published Nov. 10, 2009, at 11:45 a.m. PT)

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Counterpunch: Was the Gossip Girl threesome a public service? Find out now!

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