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Football stomps on Sunday

But ABC's 'Housewives,' CBS lineup perform well

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” ran away with the Sunday ratings race as usual with its Giants-Bears big-city matchup, but ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and CBS’ “Undercover Boss” also looked good, and the Eye’s “CSI: Miami” had a solid opening on its new night.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the New York Giants’ 17-3 victory over the Chicago Bears averaged a 7.1 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 18.6 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with the nationals expected to rise and send the viewer total over 20 million. This will be the fourth straight week that the franchise has locked up the night’s top rating.

In metered-market overnights, the game earned a 14.2 household rating/22 share — the top score for an NFL primetime October contest in 10 years. Of course, having a matchup of two of the NFL’s marquee teams representing the league’s two biggest markets didn’t hurt; the game did a 39.7/54 in Chicago (representing roughly 1.39 million homes) and a 15.4/22 in New York (1.16 million homes), so the cities (which make up 11.4% of the country’s TV households) accounted for roughly 15.5% of the national audience.

Elsewhere, CBS had a pretty good showing for its new entertainment lineup following “60 Minutes” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall). “The Amazing Race” finished third at 8 p.m. but moved up to second in its second half-hour, and “Undercover Boss” grew from there (4.0/9 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall), narrowly leading all entertainment programs at 9 p.m. in adults 25-54 (5.1/11). And at 10, “CSI: Miami” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall), in its first original episode on Sunday, was the hour’s No. 1 entertainment show (3.2/8 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall).

ABC looked good from 9 to 11 p.m., as “Desperate Housewives” (4.3/10 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall) was the top entertainment series of the night in 18-49 despite tough competition from “Undercover Boss,” which had routinely toppled it when they went head to head earlier this year; “Housewives” likely will finish up a tick from its season premiere of last week. And “Brothers and Sisters” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) was in line with its season opener as well despite new drama competition from “CSI: Miami.” The Alphabet wasn’t as strong from 7 to 9 p.m. with its unscripted combo of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall).

Fox dominated Sunday’s opening hour with an NFL overrun and postgame show, leading into a good number for “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m. (4.1/11 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall). The net then fell off at 8:30 p.m. with “The Cleveland Show” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) before rising again with “Family Guy” 3.9/9 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall). The rollercoaster ride continued at 9:30 p.m., which saw the season premiere of “American Dad” drop to a 2.9/7 in 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.7/15; Fox, 4.3/11; CBS, 3.2/8; ABC, 2.9/8; Univision, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 15.7 million; CBS, 12.0 million; Fox, 9.6 million; ABC, 9.5 million; Univision, 2.6 million.

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