ACMs up vs. last year; ABC's 'Housewives' low

Sunday’s telecast of the Academy of Country Music Awards grew year-to-year in key demos, lifting CBS to victory on a night that saw ABC’s ”Desperate Housewives” return with lower numbers and NBC’s ”Celebrity Apprentice” remain solid.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, CBS kicked things off with ”60 Minutes” (1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), which led its hour in 25-54 and total viewers. It was followed by the three-hour ACMA kudocast (3.3/9 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), which was the night’s top-rated program. Airing earlier in spring than usual, the ACMAs were up a tick in 18-49 while surging 19% in adults 18-34 (to 2.5/7).

ABC edged out NBC for second in 18-49 even though ”Desperate Housewives” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), airing its first original episode in four weeks, flirted with series lows; likely impacted by the ACMAs, it settled for a second-place tie in 18-49 for the 9 o’clock hour. Also for the net, ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) and ”Secret Millionaire” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) were on par with recent performances, and a special 10 p.m. original episode of new Tuesday drama ”Body of Proof” earned a nothing-special 2.0/5 in 18-49 while drawing 8.4 million viewers overall.

At NBC, both ”Dateline” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and ”America’s Next Great Restaurant” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) were up week to week, followed by

”Celebrity Apprentice” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall), which was flat and again led its second hour in adults 18-49 (tied with the ACMAs). ”Apprentice” was Sunday’s No. 1 series among adults 18-49.

Fox aired originals of ”American Dad” at 7:30 p.m. (1.6/5 in 18-9, 3.6 million viewers overall) and ”The Cleveland Show” at 9:30 p.m. (2.2/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), sandwiched by repeats of ”The Simpsons” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall), ”Bob’s Burgers” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) and ”Family Guy” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall). The net placed fourth among adults 18-49 and second to CBS among adults 18-34.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.9/8; ABC, 2.2/6; NBC, 2.1/6; Fox, 1.8/5; Univision, 0.9/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 12.3 million; ABC, 8.4 million; NBC, 6.5 million; Fox, 4.1 million; Univision, 2.6 million.

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