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ABC back on top Sunday

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC captured the first Sunday of March in key demo categories, winning each hour among young adults, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Night also included an unremarkable premiere for Fox comedy “The Winner.”

The Alphabet’s “Desperate Housewives” (7.4 rating/17 share in adults 18-49, 18.3 million viewers overall) was easily Sunday’s top-rated program, cruising to victory in the 9 o’clock hour with its best performance of 2007. Net also kicked off the night a demo winner with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (5.3/13 in 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall), and closed things out on top with rookie drama “Brothers & Sisters” (4.7/17 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall).

CBS ran second, with “Amazing Race: All-Stars” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) logging its best numbers in its three tries to date, and dramas “Cold Case” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 13.2 million viewers overall) and “Without a Trace” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall) looking solid in their return following a February sweep in which they aired just once due to events like the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and Academy Awards.

At Fox, “Family Guy” (4.4/10 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) at 9 and “The Simpsons” at 8 (4.2/11 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) set the pace as usual, with new laffer “The Winner” sagging some between them in its debut (3.5/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall). A second original episode of the newcomer fell off further at 9:30 (3.1/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall).

Best news for NBC’s rejiggered lineup came from “Deal or No Deal” at 9 o’clock (3.3/8 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall). “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” continued to struggle at 8 (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), and “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) was a distant third place in its first try in the 10 o’clock slot.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.1/13; CBS, 3.3/8; Fox, 3.1/8; NBC, 2.4/6; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 13.6 million; CBS, 12.9 million; NBC, 7.5 million; Fox, 6.5 million; Univision, 3.2 million; CW, 2.3 million.

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