Wisteria Lane winds way to the top

ABC lands demo boost

The ladies of Wisteria Lane didn’t cast as big a spell on viewers this season, but they went out with a bang Sunday night.

Opposite tougher competish this time around from HBO’s “The Sopranos,” ABC drama “Desperate Housewives” wrapped season two with its best ratings in three months — although that still left it down about 25% from last May’s scorching score.

Show, which withstood some carping by critics and viewers that it had lost the magic of its phenomenal frosh season, nonetheless wraps the campaign as television’s No. 1 scripted series among adults 18-49.

ABC made it 17 straight Sundays as the young-adult leader to close out the season, riding two-hour season-enders for both “Housewives” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Elsewhere, Fox was the choice for young men with the finales of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.” The WB’s “Charmed” saw a slight uptick for its series finale, but NBC bombed with original two-part movie “10.5: Apocalypse.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the two-hour season finale of “Desperate Housewives” averaged a 9.8 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and 24 million viewers overall — peaking with a 10.5/25 in the demo during the 10:30 p.m. half-hour.

Though a far cry from last year’s series-best 13.4/31 in the demo for its finale, “Housewives” was on par with the net’s “Grey’s Anatomy” as the best demo delivery for a finale this season (9.9/22 last Monday).

“Housewives” lead-in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” easily led the 8 o’clock hour in key demos (prelim 5.3/14 in 18-49, 13.6 million), but was itself down more than 20%.

Fox placed second on the night in demos with the season finales of “The Simpsons” at 8 (prelim 3.9/11, 8.2 million) and “Family Guy” at 9:30 (prelim 4.0/9, 8.0 million), with the latter winning its slot in men 18-34.

CBS ran third with the combo of “60 Minutes” (prelim 1.7/6 in 18-49, 10.7 million), “Cold Case” (prelim 2.9/8, 13.1 million) and “CSI: Miami” repeats from 9 to 11 (prelim 3.0/7, 11 million).

Nothing was shaking at NBC, whose “10.5: Apocalypse” (prelim 2.6/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million) came nowhere close to what the original “10.5” movie netted in May 2004 (8.1/20 in 18-49 for part one).

Ratings were not available for the penultimate episode of the season for HBO’s “The Sopranos.” Skein, though not as popular as it was when it last aired two years ago, has been pulling roughly a 4 demo rating in recent weeks opposite “Housewives.” It will wrap its season June 4.

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