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‘Housewives’ tops Sunday

Morning Ratings Flash -- Rick Kissell

ABC ended the long holiday weekend with a ratings victory Sunday, capturing the night in key demos behind “Desperate Housewives” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Desperate Housewives” (8.5 rating/19 share in adults 18-49, 21.4 million viewers overall) was easily the highest-rated program of the night, and the net led at 8 too with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (5.1/12 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall). Also for the Alphabet, a special off-night “Boston Legal” performed solidly at 10 (4.6/12 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall), and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was the top non-sports choice in key demos kicking off the night (3.2/8 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall).

Fox had a big opening half-hour, as the conclusion of two down-to-the-wire NFL games (New England-Chicago and Tennessee-New York Giants) should deliver roughly a 9 rating in adults 18-49. That big push helped comedies “The Simpsons” (5.0/12 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (4.1/9 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (4.8/11 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “The War at Home” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) to above-average deliveries.

At CBS, following “60 Minutes” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), “Amazing Race” ran fourth in most measures at 8 (3.3/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), and Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Candles on Bay Street” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall) didn’t perform as well in the time period as the net’s regularly scheduled crime dramas “Cold Case” and “Without a Trace.” 

Prelim numbers are murky for NBC’s coverage of the Indianapolis-Philadelphia NFL contest, but affiliate-based estimates suggest it should come in with roughly a 5.7 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 14.4 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.4/13; Fox, 4.9/12; NBC, 4.7/12; CBS, 2.8/7; CW, 1.3/3; Univision, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: ABC, 15.2 million; CBS, 12.3 million; NBC, 11.9 million; Fox, 11.3 million; CW, 3.3 million; Univision, 3.0 million.

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