Naked truth: Promo helped 'Wives'

A correction was made to this article on Nov. 29, 2004

A little controversy certainly didn’t hurt ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” which approached more record ratings Sunday and combined with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for a big Alphabet victory.

Nearly a week after “Desperate’s” Nicolette Sheridan made headlines for disrobing in front of an NFL player in a “Monday Night Football” skit, the hot first-year ABC dramedy racked up more gaudy numbers on Sunday, including an 11.0 rating/24 share in adults 18-49 and 24.6 million viewers overall — on par with its series-best scores set two weeks earlier, according to prelim Nielsen nationals.

“Desperate Housewives” easily topped the combined 18-49 scores in the hour of CBS, NBC, Fox and the WB while establishing a series high in women 18-34 (12.8/30).

Also for ABC, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” grabbed its second best Nielsens to date (prelim 7.5/18 in 18-49, 18.2 million viewers overall), “America’s Funniest Home Videos” kicked off the night with its highest scores of the season (prelim 3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.6m) and “Boston Legal” was solid at 10 (prelim 5.3/13 in 18-49, 12.8m).

Each of NBC’s shows was on the high end of its ratings range in prelims, led by “Crossing Jordan” (5.1/13 in 18-49, 14.0m) and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (4.6/10, 15.2m). Also, “Dateline” (2.3/6, 8.5m) matched its best delivery since May and “American Dreams” (2.8/7, 8.8m) drew its largest aud of the season.

Fox benefited from an NFL overrun, but “The Simpsons” was on the low side (4.5/11 in 18-49, 9.9m) and “Arrested Development” dropped off sharply from there (3.0/7 in 18-49, 5.89m). At 9, “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” continued to draw yawns from auds (1.6/3 in 18-49, 3.4m).

CBS received a solid showing from “Cold Case” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 15.8m) but didn’t do much with pic “Back When We Were Grownups” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 11.8m).

Factoring in Nielsen prelims for the weekend, CBS remains comfortably on top for the November sweep in adults 18-49 with a 4.5 or 4.6 rating, and NBC (4.1) and ABC (4.0) were in a tight race for second through Sunday.

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