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Quiet Mother’s Day for networks

Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

With Mother’s Day celebrations driving down television usage by about 10% vs. the previous week, Sunday’s top programs saw their ratings take a hit.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC bested CBS for Sunday’s lead among young adults behind the night’s top show, “Desperate Housewives” (projected 6.1 rating/16 share in adults 18-49, 16 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.). This reps a firstrun low for the third-year series, which received a season-low lead-in from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.7/11 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall). Closing out the night, “Brothers & Sisters” (projected 4.1/11 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) was more in line with its recent performances, winning its second half-hour.

At CBS following “60 Minutes” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), the finale of “Survivor: Fiji” should come in with roughly a 4.6/13 in 18-49 and 13.8 million viewers overall from 8 to 10:08 p.m. — the lowest finale score to date for the veteran reality franchise — although it narrowly topped ABC to win its time period in adults 25-54 and total viewers. From 10:08 to 11, the “Survivor: Fiji Reunion” averaged roughly a 4.1/11 in 18-49 and 11.5 million viewers overall.

NBC’s best numbers came from a repeat of “Shrek” from 8 to 10 (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), while Fox was paced by below-averages scores from “The Simpsons” (3.1/10 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.0/12; CBS, 3.7/11; Fox, 2.6/8; NBC, 1.7/5; Univision, 1.4/4; CW, 0.7/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.2 million; ABC, 11.2 million; Fox, 5.5 million; NBC, 5.2 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 2.2 million.

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