Primetime ratings dip due to holiday

Easter festivities resulted in lower primetime viewing Sunday, but ABC’s unscripted series again led the way in leading the net to its fifth straight demo victory on the night.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS got the night off to a good start with an overrun from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that averaged a projected 4.2 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and more than 13 million viewers overall in the opening half-hour, but ABC closed out the night by winning the final three hours.

For ABC, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall) dominated in all key categories at 8 o’clock, while “Oprah’s Big Give” held up well week to week in prevailing an hour later (3.5/9 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall). Also on par, or up slightly in some categories, was “Here Come the Newlyweds” at 10 o’clock (2.9/8 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall).

Numbers for the rest of CBS’ lineup were hard to decipher based on the hoops overrun, which forced the rest of the net’s lineup to start more than 30 minutes late. “Big Brother” was expected to generate roughly a 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers overall.

Fox was below average, burning off episodes of “Unhitched” at 8:30 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) and 9:30 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall). Fairing better were repeats of anchor laffers “The Simpsons” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

NBC was weak from 7 to 9 with a two-hour “Dateline” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) but improved as the night went on with repeats of “Law & Order” at 9 (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” at 10 (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.1/9; CBS, 2.5/7; NBC, 1.7/5; Fox, 1.6/5; Univision, 0.9/2; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.0 million; CBS, 8.7 million; NBC, 7.0 million; Fox, 3.4 million; Univision, 2.1 million; CW, 1.1 million.

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