Shows pick up before finales; 'Race' closer solid for CBS

ABC didn’t see any bump for the finale of ”GCB,” but the combo of rookie ”Once Upon a Time” and vet ”Desperate Housewives” was on the rise one week from their finales. ABC also opened the night strong with ”America’s Funniest Home Videos,” while CBS’ ”The Amazing Race” was a solid second in demos for its two-hour finale.

For the night, ABC prevailed in key young-adult categories, drawing its best regular-schedule result on a Sunday since early March. The Alphabet also tied with CBS for the night’s lead among adults 25-54, while CBS won with ease in total viewers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” got Sunday off to a strong start for ABC (2.0 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), rising 33% above the previous week’s result for its second best 18-49 score of the season. It was followed by ”Once Upon a Time” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), which came in slightly ahead of its prelim score of last week, and ”Desperate Housewives” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), whose penultimate series episode grew 12% week to week for its highest demo rating since early January; ”Once” was the night’s top draw among the 18-49 crowd, while ”Desperate” was No. 1 for the night in women 25-54 (4.7/11). Despite the gains at 9, ”GCB” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) was mostly flat week to week for its first-season finale, placing second in demos for the 10 o’clock hour.

At CBS, ”60 Minutes” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) was the night’s most-watched program overall, and was followed by the two-hour season finale of ”The Amazing Race” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was on par or up slightly in all categories vs. its finale of a year ago and stood as Sunday’s No. 1 show in adults 25-54 (3.7/9). And ”NYC 22” closed the night up slightly week to week (1.3/3 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall).

Fox was down week to week early in the evening with ”The Cleveland Show” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), ”The Simpsons” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and ”Bob’s Burgers” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) but ”Family Guy” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) figures to match last week’s score in the nationals, and 9:30′s ”American Dad” (2.3/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) improved upon the special airing of ”Cleveland Show” that aired in the timeslot a week ago. ”Family Guy” was Sunday’s No. 1 program in both men 18-49 (3.3/8) and persons 12-34 (3.0/9).

NBC hit a Sunday season low for a regular lineup with ”Dateline” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), ”Harry’s Law” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and ”Celebrity Apprentice” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). Still, ”Apprentice” won the 10 p.m. hour in 18-49 for a fifth straight week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.4/7; CBS, 2.0/6; Fox, 1.9/5; NBC, 1.3/4; Univision, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.3 million; ABC, 7.6 million; NBC, 5.8 million; Fox, 4.1 million; Univision, 2.6 million.

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