'Once,' 'Family Guy' top night; 'GCB' down in third week

ABC’s ”Once Upon a Time” and Fox’s ”Family Guy” were the top broadcast draws among young adults on Sunday, a night that figured to be topped by AMC’s ”The Walking Dead,” which aired its season finale.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”Once Upon a Time” averaged a 2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, growing sharply over its ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” lead-in (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall); the fairy tale drama was up a tick from last week’s prelim score, standing as Sunday’s top broadcast entertainment series in 18-49 and 25-54 (3.4/8). It was followed by ”Desperate Housewives” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall), on par with last week in young adults and at a four-month high in total viewers, and rookie ”GCB” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), which had its lowest score in three outings, down 13% in 18-49 from last week and off 9% from its premiere.

Fox started with a repeat of ”The Simpsons” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and an original episode of ”The Cleveland Show” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), followed by a new episode of ”The Simpsons” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), which was up a tick week to week. Also on the upswing were ”Bob’s Burgers” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and ”Family Guy” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), while ”American Dad” held steady at 9:30 (2.2/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall).

Ratings for CBS are subject to revision, as college basketball extended nearly 45 minutes into primetime and the net opted to start its entertainment series late in most of the country. In the prelims, at least, CBS averaged a 2.4/8 in 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers overall from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (with mostly ”60 Minutes”), a 2.6/7 in 18-49 and 9.7 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. (with mostly ”The Amazing Race”), a 2.0/5 in 18-49 and 9.2 million viewers overall from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. (with mostly ”The Good Wife”) and it did a 1.8/5 in 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers overall in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour with ”CSI: Miami.”

When the dust settles in the nationals, CBS figures to have won Sunday in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

At NBC, ”Dateline” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) was up week to week as it didn’t face ”60 Minutes” competition early on in most of the country. It was followed by ”Harry’s Law” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), flat week to week, and ”Celebrity Apprentice” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall), down week to week for a season low.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.3/6; ABC, 2.2/6; Fox, 2.0/5; NBC, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.7 million; ABC, 7.5 million; NBC, 6.4 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 3.1 million.

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