ABC's 'Housewives' hits series low in return

Show Network Rating (18-49) Share Viewers (millions)
1. Desperate Housewives ABC 3.3 8 10.4
2. Academy of Country Music Awards CBS 3.1 8 13.1
3. Family Guy FOX 2.8 7 6.0
4. The Simpsons FOX 2.7 8 5.9
5. Celebrity Apprentice NBC 2.6 7 6.9
6. American Dad FOX 2.5 6 5.2
7. The Cleveland Show FOX 2.4 7 5.1
8. Brothers and Sisters ABC 2.2 6 7.9
9. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC 1.9 5 6.7
10. Minute to Win It NBC 1.9 5 5.9

Sunday’s coverage of the Academy of Country Music Awards may have been down year to year but it proved to be enough to carry CBS to victory on Sunday. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” hit a series low in its return, although it was the night’s top demo draw.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS started the evening sluggishly with “60 Minutes” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall) before climbing nicely with the three-hour ACM kudocast (3.1/8 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall). Despite a roughly 15% decline vs. last year’s telecast — which had matched a six-year high in adults 18-49 — the awards show honoring the best in country music won both the 8 and 10 o’clock hours in demos and swept its three-hour block in total viewers.

Second-place ABC kicked off the night with a demo victory courtesy of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) and was followed by a repeat of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). At 9, “Desperate Housewives” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) won in demos with its first original episode in four weeks, and “Brothers & Sisters” wrapped the evening a bit below its recent range (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), placing third.

NBC opened with “Dateline” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which was above its recent range, and alternative series “Minute to Win It” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), which matched its highest rating since its March 14 debut. From 9 to 11 p.m., “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) matched its score of the previous week, nearly catching the ACM Awards for the demo lead in its final half-hour.

And at Fox, another hourr of “Til Death” pulled a mere 0.8/3 in 18-49 and 2.1 million viewers overall, and was followed by “The Simpsons” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), repeats of “The Cleveland Show” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and an original “American Dad” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 12.5 million; ABC, 7.9 million; NBC, 6.3 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 2.2 million.

In total viewers: CBS, 2.7/8; ABC, 2.3/6; NBC, 2.1/6; Fox, 2.0/6; Univision, 0.8/2.

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