Network nabs victory with 'Housewives'

Once again winning each hour in key demographics, ABC notched its 11th consecutive Sunday victory — led by “Desperate Housewives,” which has built each of the last two weeks after hitting a series low.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Desperate Housewives” averaged a projected 6.3 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 16.8 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m., easily standing as the night’s top-rated program. It also will come in as the week’s highest-rated scripted program in the 18-49 demo, edging out the net’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” (“Housewives” had softer than usual competition this week, opposed on both CBS and NBC by repurposed cable dramas.)

ABC also won the evening’s other hours, starting with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.4/9 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (4.1/12 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) and closing with “Brothers & Sisters” (projected 3.8/10 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall). “Home Videos,” airing its 400th episode, won the night’s 7 o’clock hour in 18-49 by its largest margin of the season (by 60% over “60 Minutes.”)

Fox was on the low end with its comedy block, starting with “The Simpsons” (3.0/9 in 18-49 6.2 million viewers overall) and “King of the Hill” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall). “Family Guy” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) both picked up a bit from there, but were also down week to week.

At CBS, the season finale of “Cold Case,” airing in a special 8 o’clock timeslot, settled for a 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 11.6 million viewers overall, though it did build on its “60 Minutes” lead-in (1.5/5 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) and was up slightly in demos over what “Big Brother” delivered in the timeslot a week earlier. From 9 to 11 p.m., Showtime drama “Dexter” ended its CBS run with a pair of episodes that averaged a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 6.4 million viewers overall.

NBC was weak all night, starting with “Dateline” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and repurposed USA dramas “Monk” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “Psych” (1.0/2 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall). A repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” closed out the night as the net’s top program (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.2/12; Fox, 2.6/8; CBS, 1.8/5; NBC, 1.2/4; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 12.0 million; CBS, 8.7 million; Fox, 5.3 million; NBC, 4.6 million; Univision, 2.7 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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