Football, ‘Housewives’ top Sunday ratings

NBC on top with Jets-Bengals game

NBC’s season finale of “Sunday Night Football” again set the pace on Sunday, but ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” looked good in its return and nearly matched the NFL contest in key demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the “SNF” matchup between the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals averaged a 5.5 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers overall on the NBC affiliates from 8:30 to 11 p.m. — not bad considering the score of the game was 27-0 at halftime; the Jets went on to win 37-0.

ABC had a good night throughout, starting with stout numbers for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), which likely benefited from afternoon NFL action wrapping up by about 7:15 p.m. in the East. It was followed by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall) and the first original episode in four weeks for “Desperate Housewives” (5.2/12 in 18-49, 15.2 million viewers overall). While “Housewives” grew a bit vs. its most recent original episode, 10 p.m. drama “Brothers & Sisters” (3.6/9 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall) dipped slightly but still looked pretty solid.

At Fox, following an NFL overrun and postgame show “The OT,” “The Simspons” averaged a sturdy 4.0/10 in 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers overall to win its half-hour in demos. It was followed by original episodes of “The Cleveland Show” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (3.9/9 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (2.8/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall).

CBS opened with “60 Minutes” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 14.9 million viewers overall), whose numbers are expected to come down in the nationals since they include a roughly 15-minute NFL overrun. The rest of the night’s numbers may also be adjusted due to irregular starting times, but a special repeat “NCIS” at around 8:15 p.m. (2.0/5 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) was followed by encores of “Cold Case” at both 9:15 (1.7/4 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and 10:15 (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.6/11; Fox, 3.8/9; ABC, 3.7/9; CBS, 2.2/5; Univision, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: NBC, 12.4 million; ABC, 11.8 million; CBS, 10.5 million; Fox, 9.1 million; Univision, 2.0 million.

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