Animated favorites bring in summer viewers

The Sunday edition of “Big Brother” made its debut last night but Fox stole the night thanks to strong repeat numbers for its animated laffers.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the initial Sunday seg of CBS summer vet “Big Brother 8″ averaged a 2.1 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers overall from 8 to 9 o’clock, in line with its opening numbers on the night a year ago. It ran second in demos to Fox’s repeat comedies “The Simpsons” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) while running second to NBC’s “Dateline” in total viewers.

Fox then surged to the lead at 9 with “Family Guy” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) and then increased at 9:30 with a second episode of “Family Guy” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall).

NBC moved to the demo lead at 10 o’clock with a special repeat of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), while CBS’ “Without a Trace” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) held the advantage in total viewers. The battle of 9 o’clock crime drama repeats went to CBS’ “Cold Case” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) over NBC’s “Law & Order” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall).

ABC was competitive from 7 to 9 with repeats of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) but faded the rest of the way with encores of “Desperate Housewives” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and “Brothers & Sisters” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.2/7; CBS, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 7.1 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Fox, 4.4 million; ABC, 4.1 million; Univision, 2.3 million; CW, 1.3 million.

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