Reality vet still a strong performer for Eye

Nearly 10 years after the premiere of its hugely watched first season, “Survivor” is still performing well for CBS, as the reality pioneer’s two-hour finale and reunion show helped the net win Sunday night. ABC ran second with finales of its Sunday series, led by “Desperate Housewives.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS kicked off its winning Sunday with “60 Minutes” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), which tied for the 7 o’clock hour’s lead in adults 25-54, and then surged in demos at 8 p.m. with the finale of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” (roughly 4.3/12 in 18-49, 13.5 million viewers overall). The conclusion to the reality show’s 20th season was Sunday’s top-rated program, and was in line with its most recent finales. And at a little after 10 p.m., the “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Reunion” averaged roughly a 3.6/9 in 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers overall to dominate its hour.

For the night, CBS won over ABC by 1 share in 18-49, by 2 shares in 25-54 while drawing about 2 million more overall viewers than the Alphabet.

Leading the way for ABC was “Desperate Housewives” (3.9/10 in 18-49, 12.6 million viewers overall), which placed second to “Survivor” in the 9 o’clock hour and hit a four-month high but still figures to come in about 15% below its year-ago finale (when it didn’t face “Survivor”). Also for ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) led at 7 p.m. in 18-9, and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” ran second at 8 (2.9/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), making a nice leap week to week. And closing things out at 10, “Brothers & Sisters” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) placed second to CBS’ “Survivor” programming — nearly matching its year-ago finale number despite a softer lead-in.

ABC posted its best January with regular programming since January.

Fox hung in there with original episodes of animated comedies “The Simpsons” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), “The Cleveland Show” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall). “Family Guy” tied ABC’s “Housewives” for second in 18-49 in the 9 o’clock half-hour.

NBC landed deep in fourth opposite the finales on ABC and CBS, starting with “Miss USA” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), which was flat vs. last year, and “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), which took a hit opposite “Survivor.”

Next week, on the final Sunday of the season, programming will include the series finale of ABC’s “Lost” (airing on a special night) as well as the season-enders for “Celebrity Apprentice” and Fox’s comedies.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.4/10; ABC, 2.9/9; Fox, 2.4/7; NBC, 1.9/5; Univision, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.2 million; ABC, 9.9 million; NBC, 5.7 million; Fox, 5.2 million; Univision, 2.5 million.

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