'Makeover,' 'Housewives' lead the night

ABC made it 10 consecutive Sunday victories in key demos, winning this week behind winning perfs in each hour, including “Desperate Housewives” — easily the night’s top-rated program.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC’s string of demo victories on the night started with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (a 2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall with a special 7 o’clock episode and a 3.9/10 in 18-49 and 12.0 million viewers overall in its regular 8 o’clock slot) and concluded with scripted sudsers “Desperate Housewives” (projected 5.9/14 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.) and “Brothers & Sisters” (projected 3.9/10 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall).

While “Home Edition” was roughly flat year-to-year, “Housewives” was down about 13%, and “Brothers & Sisters” by about 9%. Both of the dramas were up week to week, though.

Fox was runner-up on the night in demos, paced as always by “Family Guy” (4.3/10 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) and “The Simpsons” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall), which matched or slightly outperformed their ratings for the opening night of the May 2007 sweep. Net didn’t do as well with its laffers on the half-hours, with “King of the Hill” averaging a 3.0/8 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m. and “American Dad” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) losing a sizable chunk of its “Family Guy” lead-in at 9:30.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) was below average leading off the night, and “Big Brother” didn’t show any growth with its finale (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). “Cold Case” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) was on pace with its result of the same week a year ago, while “Dexter” was in line with its recent performances at 10 o’clock (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

NBC’s Sunday struggles continued, though “Dateline” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) hit a six-week high and edged out “60 Minutes” among the under-50 crowd. Following low-rated repeats of “Monk” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and “Psych” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” was more competitive at 10 p.m. (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.0/11; Fox, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.0/3; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 11.7 million; CBS, 8.6 million; Fox, 6.2 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Univision, 2.1 million; CW, 1.2 million.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more