NBC’s ‘Apprentice’ rises on slow Sunday

ABC, Fox rest top shows; Golf puts CBS on top

Ratings for the broadcast networks sagged on Easter Sunday, with NBC’s ”Celebrity Apprentice” a rare bright spot, rising to a four-week demo high and leading its timeslot. CBS won the night thanks mostly to a nearly hourlong overrun from The Masters golf.

Preliminary numbers from Nielsen are unreliable for CBS, which opened with the Masters overrun and then started its other programs about 50 minutes late in much of the country. From 7 to 8, the net’s affiliates averaged a 3.6/13 in 18-49 and 13.8 million viewers overall with mostly golf, followed by a 2.5/7 in 18-49 and 11.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 9 p.m. with mostly ”60 Minutes.” With primarily ”Amazing Race” in the 9 o’clock hour, the net averaged a 1.9/5 in 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers overall, while a ”Good Wife” repeat and the season finale of ”CSI: Miami” combined for a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall in the 10 o’clock hour.

NBC moved up to second on the night, opening with ”Dateline” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and ”Harry’s Law” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall), with the latter rising from its most recent original. Also up week to week was ”Celebrity Apprentice” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which grew with each half-hour and peaked at 10 p.m. with a 2.4/7 in the demo. It was the best showing in four weeks for ”Apprentice” in 18-49, which also drew its largest overall audience in five weeks.

ABC aired repeats of ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and ”Once Upon a Time” (1.0/3, 5.2 million viewers overall), followed by a special, firstrun episode of ”GCB” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and another in its regular 10 p.m. slot (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall). It’s hard to compare the 9 p.m. ”GCB” performance to regular occupant ”Desperate Housewives,” which has been consistently getting an original ”Once Upon a Time” as a lead-in, but the Dallas-set, hourlong comedy did build nicely on its repeat lead-in; the 10 p.m. edition then matched the previous week’s series low.

Fox aired repeats all night, seeing its best scores from ”Family Guy” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), ”American Dad” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) and ”The Simpsons” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.3/7; NBC, 1.5/4; ABC, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.1/3

In total viewers: CBS, 10.8 million; NBC, 6.4 million; ABC, 4.7 million; Univision, 3.0 million; Fox, 2.8 million.

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