Frosh 'Once' sees gains; vet 'DH' ends with season high

The season finale of rookie hit ”Once Upon a Time” combined with the series finale of ”Desperate Housewives” to carry ABC to victory in key demos on Sunday. CBS ran a competitive second with its special off-night finale of ”Survivor,” though it was down sharply vs. last year.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC opened the night a demo winner with ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and then surged at 8 p.m. with the first-season finale of ”Once Upon a Time” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall), which edged up week to week for a 10-week high; the show ends its season as TV’s No. 1 new drama in 18-49 and is ABC’s most-watched new series in four years. And from 9 to 11 p.m., ”Desperate Housewives” wrapped its eight-season run nicely (3.2/8 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), up about 20% week to week to match its best 18-49 delivery of the season and standing as Sunday’s top program in total viewers. With an expected uptick in the same-day nationals, ”DH” should log its best 18-49 score since March of last year.

For the night, ABC won in adults 18-49 and 25-54 while edging past CBS in total viewers.

At CBS, ”60 Minutes” (1.2/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) tied ”Home Videos” for the 7 o’clock hour lead in adults 25-54 (1.9/8) and easily led the slot in total viewers. It was followed by the finale of Wednesday reality vet ”Survivor” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and the ”Survivor Reunion” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), with the three-hour block down more than 25% vs. last spring’s conclusion.

Fox’s animated comedy anchors ”The Simpsons” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and ”Family Guy” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) were down some week to week, as was ”The Cleveland Show” at 7:30 (1.3/5 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) and ”American Dad” with its finale at 9:30 (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall). Holding steady week to week was 8:30 entry ”Bob’s Burgers” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall). Fox won the night among men 18-34, and ”Family Guy” was the top series among men 18-49 (2.9/8).

At NBC, ”Dateline” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and ”Harry’s Law” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) were up a bit week to week while ”Celebrity Apprentice” was down slightly (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) but held up pretty well considering the tough competition from ”Desperate Housewives” and ”Survivor.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.8/8; CBS, 2.3/7; Fox, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.3/4; Univision, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: ABC, 9.5 million; CBS, 9.4 million; NBC, 5.5 million; Fox, 3.6 million; Univision, 2.5 million.

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