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ABC’s Sunday back on top

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

The first original episode of “Desperate Housewives” in five weeks lifted ABC to a victory in key young-adult demos on Sunday, even though CBS had a big head start thanks to an NFL playoff overrun.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Desperate Housewives” (10.1 rating/22 share in adults 18-49, 23.7 million viewers overall) was easily primetime’s top program despite hitting a firstrun season low. The Alphabet also ruled at 8 with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (6.9/16 in 18-49, 17.5 million viewers overall) and at 10 with a “Grey’s Anatomy” clip show (7.2/18 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall).

At CBS, the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals NFL wild-card playoff game produced a huge 10.2/28 in adults 18-49 and 28.5 million viewers overall from 7 to 7:30. Ratings for the rest of the Eye’s lineup are murky due to the game running until about 7:45 in the East, but “60 Minutes” is expected to come in with one of its best scores in a while.

Fox ran third on the night, with second-place demo finishes from “The Simpsons” at 8 (4.9/12 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” at 9 (4.3/10 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall). In between, “The War at Home” averaged a 3.7/9 in 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers overall, and at 9:30 “American Dad” earned a 3.5/8 in 18-49 and 7 million viewers overall.

NBC again was barely on the radar at 8 with “West Wing” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), which led into a low-rated “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (3.0/7 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall). “Crossing Jordan” closed out the night with the net’s best numbers (3.6/9 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 6.9/17; CBS, 5.2/12; Fox, 3.7/9; NBC, 2.6/6; WB, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 16.9 million; CBS, 16.9 million; NBC, 9.6 million; Fox, 7.5 million; WB, 2.4 million.

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