Net wins night in demos, led by 'Once Upon a Time'

Audiences didn’t exactly flock to the premiere of ABC’s ”GCB” on Sunday, but the Dallas-set series got off to a fair start following ”Desperate Housewives” on a night the net won in key demos thanks mostly to ”Once Upon a Time.”

ABC was the top broadcaster on the night among adults 18-49 in three of Sunday’s four hours but fell a bit short at 10 p.m. with the premiere of hourlong comedy ”GCB,” which averaged a 2.2 rating/6 share in the demo and 7.6 million viewers overall. While not a great number, it’s also not bad for a 10 p.m. premiere airing after ”Desperate Housewives” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), which was up 14% vs. its series-low score of two weeks ago but is not heading into its series conclusion in May with a lot of momentum. The 2.2 rating for ”GCB” is better than all but the first two episodes of ”Pan Am” to air in the timeslot this season, but falls well short of where the 1960s drama opened in September (3.1 rating following a 3.2 for ”Housewives”).

The Alphabet was looking good in Sunday’s opening two hours with winning demo perfs from ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) and ”Once Upon a Time” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall), with the latter standing as the No. 1 broadcast show of the night in 18-49 and 25-54 (4.0/9). Both shows grew by 10% vs. their most recent episodes.

CBS, runner-up on the night in demos and the leader in total viewers, opened with ”60 Minutes” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), the night’s most-watched program, before climbing nicely among young adults at 8 o’clock with ”The Amazing Race” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), which spiked by 28% vs. last week’s low score opposite the Oscars. It was followed by ”The Good Wife” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) and ”CSI: Miami” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall).

Fox, third in 18-49 but first among adults 18-34, was paced as usual by anchor vets ”The Simpsons” at 8 (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and ”Family Guy” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall). Not faring as well were ”The Cleveland Show” at 7:30 (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), the finale of ”Napoleon Dynamite” at 8:30 (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and ”American Dad” at 9:30 (2.1/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall).

NBC started slowly with ”Dateline” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and a repeat of ”Celebrity Apprentice” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) before rising from 9 to 11 p.m. with the original installment of ”Apprentice” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which was up vs. last week’s low score opposite the Oscars. The reality contest edged out ”GCB” to lead the broadcast pack for the 10 o’clock hour in 18-49 (2.4 to 2.2).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.6/7; CBS, 2.1/5; Fox, 2.0/5; NBC, 1.7/4; Univision, 1.3/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 8.6 million; NBC, 5.5 million; Fox, 4.0 million; Univision, 3.3 million.

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