But ABC's 'Once' takes a hit, 'Housewives' steady

ABC had mixed news for its scripted Sunday series, as daylight saving time seemed to be a factor in sizable declines for ”Once Upon a Time,” but ”Desperate Housewives” held steady week to week and newbie ”GCB” was up a tick in its second outing.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”Once Upon a Time” hit a low at 8 o’clock (2.8/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall), falling into a share of the timeslot lead among adults 18-49 with CBS’ steady ”Amazing Race” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall). The fairy tale-themed drama was down 18% week to week, and certainly wasn’t helped by lead-in ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which tumbled 40% as it aired when the sun was still out for the first time this year. ”Desperate Housewives,” which was in the news a lot last week both for the Nicolette Sheridan trial and the mistakenly revealed spoiler of a character’s death, merely matched its week-ago score (2.5/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) , which, considering its weakened lead-in, was something of an accomplishment anyway.

And at 10, ”GCB” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was up from the 2.2 in the demo for its premiere , becoming the rare show to gain in its second week. It led its hour in 18-49 this time, retaining more than 90% of its lead-in, and led the broadcast pack in adults 18-34 (1.6/5).

For the night, ABC topped the networks in adults 18-49 and tied CBS for the 25-54 lead.

CBS held up better than ABC in the first week of early-primetime daylight, as ”60 Minutes” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and ”Amazing Race” matched their deliveries of last week; the 7 p.m. newsmag benefited from airing after the annual reveal of the March Madness participants and seedings, which aired from 6 to 7 p.m. ET. Also for the net, ”The Good Wife” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall) was down week to week, while ”CSI: Miami” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) held steady.

At Fox, 7:30 p.m. laffer ”The Cleveland Show” was in line with last week, but ”The Simpsons” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) was down a bit from last week. They were followed by the return of ”Bob’s Burgers” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and the 9 o’clock combo of ”Family Guy” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and ”American Dad” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), which were on par or up slightly vs. last week.

NBC opened with a low-rated ”Dateline” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall), and then saw a modest timeslot premiere for ”Harry’s Law” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), which matched what a repeat of ”Celebrity Apprentice” did in the demo last week while drawing significantly more total viewers. And from 9 to 11, ”Apprentice” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) was down week to week, but still managed to take a narrow lead among adults 25-54 for its second hour.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.3/6; CBS, 2.1/6; Fox, 2.0/6; NBC, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.1 million; ABC, 7.8 million; NBC, 6.6 million; Fox, 4.3 million; Univision, 3.0 million.

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