Hoops, Obama lift CBS in ratings

Network wins Sunday night in demos, viewers

The conclusion of some nail-biter college basketball tournament games and Steve Kroft’s interview with President Obama on “60 Minutes” carried CBS to a strong Sunday in the ratings, winning in both demos and total viewers. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” remained the night’s top entertainment series.

Reliable Nielsen estimates weren’t available Monday for particular CBS programs, since basketball ran in much of the country until about 7:50 p.m., but “60 Minutes” is expected to be the night’s most-watched program with more than 16 million viewers. The basketball action, which included second-round playoff games such as Michigan State against USC and Missouri against Marquette, also averaged more than 15 million viewers to dominate the opening hour of primetime.

Among entertainment programs, ABC was the top draw in the 7 o’clock hour with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and at 8 o’clock with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall). And jumping sharply from there, “Desperate Housewives” dominated at 9 p.m. (4.9/12 in 18-49, 14.7 million viewers overall), though it was down slightly week to week, and “Brothers & Sisters” kept the net on top in demos during primetime’s final hour (3.5/9 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall).

At Fox, “The Simpsons” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “King of the Hill” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) were up a tick week to week, while “Family Guy” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) were flat week to week.

NBC was up at 7 p.m. with “Dateline” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) but dipped at 8 o’clock with the second week of drama “Kings” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), which ran a distant fourth among the broadcast nets. From 9 to 11 p.m., “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was down from its prior average but up a tick vs. last week’s one-hour edition.

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