ABC holds own vs. NFL

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

Fox captured Sunday night’s ratings race in most key categories behind its coverage of the National Football League’s NFC championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, but ABC held up very well with its regular sked.

Reliable prelim Nielsen nationals aren’t immediately available for the football game, but it figures to come in with nearly a 13 rating in adults 18-49 and more than 30 million viewers overall. In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, the contest averaged a 22.0 household rating/32 share.

ABC was a solid second at 8 with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (6.1/13 in 18-49, 16.0 million viewers overall), and “Desperate Housewives” (10.4/22 in 18-49, 25.2 million viewers overall) figures to finish with roughly the same numbers as the football game from 9 to 10; this was the best score of the new year for “Housewives.” And at 10, “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.5/22 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall) dominated with its best scores of the season and a series high in adults 18-34 (9.1/23).

NBC was again weak at 8 with “West Wing” (1.9/4 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) but looked more respectable from 9 to 11 with “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (3.1/6 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) and “Crossing Jordan” (3.3/7 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall).

CBS was paced by “60 Minutes” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) and a repeat “Cold Case” (2.8/6 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 12.0/26; ABC, 7.2/16; NBC, 2.7/6; CBS, 2.6/6; WB, 1.1/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 29.3 million; ABC, 17.8 million; NBC, 9.5 million; CBS, 9.5 million; WB, 2.7 million.

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