Fox show debuts in third place

Fox didn’t get a lot of Nielsen mileage out of new drama “Drive” on Sunday, with the show’s bow settling in third place.

The action soap centered on a secret cross-country race averaged a 2.6 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers overall, according to preliminary nationals. It ran behind ABC and CBS in most categories, moving up to second place among viewers under 35.

It’s not a good start, but “Drive” at least maintained its audience throughout, stuck in first gear with a 2.6 adults 18-49 rating each half-hour. On the same night a year ago, Fox averaged a 2.9 rating in the time period, with a mix of original and repeat comedies.

“Drive” parked in its regular Monday-at-8 slot last night, leading into “24.”

Elsewhere Sunday, ABC won all four hours among adults 18-49, led by “Desperate Housewives” (roughly 6.3/15 in 18-49, 16.3 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.) and “Brothers & Sisters” (roughly 4.5/12 in 18-49, 11.3 million from 10:02 to 11 p.m.). “Housewives” was up from its series-low firstrun average the previous week, while “Brothers” shot up by about 10% vs. the previous week to win in key demos.

CBS was a solid second on the night in demos and first in total viewers with “60 Minutes” (prelim 2.2/7 in 18-49, 12.0 million), “Amazing Race” (prelim 2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million), “Cold Case” (prelim 3.0/7 in 18-49, 12.3 million) and “Without a Trace” (prelim 3.5/9 in 18-49, 14.3 million).

NBC started slowly with a two-hour “Dateline” (prelim 1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.6 million) before picking up some with a repeat “Deal or No Deal” (prelim 2.3/5 in 18-49, 8.1 million) and the penultimate episode of “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” (prelim 2.5/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million).

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