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‘Housewives’ lifts ABC

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

A dominant victory by “Desperate Housewives” made ABC the ratings winner among young adults on Sunday, while the concluding 20 minutes of the highest-rated NFL game of the season lifted CBS to the lead in total viewers.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Desperate Housewives” (8.6 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, 21.6 million viewers overall) was easily the night’s top show, and was sandwiched by good numbers from both “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at 8 (5.4/13 in 18-49, 15.4 million viewers overall) and “Brothers & Sisters” at 10 (5.5/14 in 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall). Also, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was the top non-sports choice at 7 (3.1/8 in 18-49, 10.8 million viewers overall).

At CBS, the final 20 minutes of the Indianapolis-Dallas NFL contest should come in with nearly a 10 rating in adults 18-49 and more than 29 million viewers overall. Game delivered a 15.8 household rating/29 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, the best for any NFL telecast this season and the highest for a game on CBS since week 17 of the 2004 season (16.1/27 for Indianapolis-Denver).

Scores are murky for the rest of the Eye’s lineup due to late start times, but “60 Minutes” should come in with about a 4.4/11 and 18.3 million viewers overall, followed by “Amazing Race” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), “Cold Case” (4.0/9 in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall) and “Without a Trace” (4.1/11 in 18-49, 14.2 million viewers overall).

Fox was paced by animated laffers “Family Guy” (4.6/10 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (4.4/11 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall).

At NBC, its “Sunday Night Football” contest between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos averaged a 10.4 household rating/16 share in Nielsen’s metered markets and should come in with roughly a 5.8 rating in adults 18-49.

CW had its best Sunday of the season, with the debut of “Reba” in the 7 o’clock hour (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) giving the young net its highest numbers to date in the opening hour. “7th Heaven” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) was also higher than usual.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.7/14; CBS, 4.6/11; NBC, 4.5/11; Fox, 3.4/8; CW, 1.3/3; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.3 million; ABC, 15.3 million; NBC, 11.6 million; Fox, 7.1 million; CW, 3.4 million; Univision, 2.6 million.

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