Fox sees modest tune-in for anniversary special

A strong showing by ”Once Upon a Time” helped ABC earn a share of the young-adult lead with CBS on Sunday, with the Eye paced by ”The Amazing Race.” Fox, meanwhile, drew a smallish audience for its 25th anniversary special.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s ”Once Upon a Time” averaged a good 2.9 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.8 million viewers overall , up a bit from its last original three weeks ago. Exhibiting broad appeal, the fairytale-themed drama won the 8 o’clock hour in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and all under-35 categories. Also on the night for ABC, ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” was competitive with a repeat in the 7 o’clock hour (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), and the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of ”Firelight,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr., averaged a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall from 9 to 11; while not great numbers, it was the highest-rated of the three HHOF movies to air in the franchise’s first season on ABC, and also outperformed the comparable year-ago pic on CBS in 18-49 (1.3/3).

At CBS, ”60 Minutes” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall) won the 7 o’clock hour and was up over last week’s tribute special to Mike Wallace. The newsmag was followed by ”The Amazing Race” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall), which was in line with last week and placed second in most categories and first in total viewers for the 8 o’clock hour. Holding steady at 9 p.m. was ”The Good Wife” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall), while ”NYC 22” was down a tick in its second week at 10 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall). ”Good Wife” narrowly led its hour in 18-49 (a tick above both NBC and Fox) while winning outright in 25-54 (2.6/6) and total viewers. For the night, CBS tied ABC for the 18-49 lead while winning outright in both 25-54 and total viewers.

Fox ran third among the broadcasters from 8 to 10 p.m. with its ”Fox 25th Anniversary Special” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall. For its two-hour block from 8 to 10, the special was the top-rated broadcast program in men 18-49 (1.9/5). Kicking off the night, Fox got decent numbers by dusting off the pilot episodes of ”Married With Children” from April 1987 (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall) and ”The Simpsons” from December 1989 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

NBC was off slightly week to week with ”Dateline” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), ”Harry’s Law” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) and ”Celebrity Apprentice” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). Though down 10% from last week, ”Apprentice” again led the 10 o’clock hour among adults 18-49 (2.2/6) and 25-54 (2.8/7).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC and CBS, 1.9/5; Fox, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.9 million; ABC, 7.5 million; NBC, 6.3 million; Fox, 3.9 million; Univision, 2.7 million.

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