'Amazing Race' Sets The Ratings Pace

'60 Minutes' strong too as the Eye network remains in control of the night this spring

CBS continues to be the network to beat on Sundays this spring, as the combination of “60 Minutes” and “The Amazing Race” led the Eye past its rivals for an eighth straight victory on the night in key demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, CBS claimed Sunday’s No. 1 program in both adults 18-49 with “Amazing Race” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and total viewers with “60 Minutes” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall), with the latter newsmagazine also dominating the night’s opening hour in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.8/8). “Race” was followed by “The Good Wife” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), which won its hour in 25-54 (2.2/5), and “The Mentalist” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), which tied with NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in both 18-49 and 25-54 (2.2/5).

CBS dominated the night in total viewers, winning each hour with ease.

ABC was up over its repeat-riddled Sundays of the last two weeks, with both “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “Once Upon a Time” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) placing second in their timeslots, with the latter back in originals for the first time in four weeks. “Once” continues to lag behind its strong rookie season’s pace, as the comparable hour a year ago did a same-night demo rating of 3.0. (Though, as often happens in closely contested timeslot battles pitting a reality show against a drama, the scripted series should move ahead in 18-49 when all DVR playback is counted.)

And from 9 to 11 p.m., the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of “Remember Sunday” averaged a 1.4/4 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall, up from the franchise’s most recent entry on Jan. 27 (1.1 in 18-49) but down 12% in the demo from the comparable year-ago movie (1.6). The movie provided ABC with big improvement over its recent weak showing in the time period with repeats of its dramas, and for the night, ABC drew its largest Sunday audience in seven weeks.

Fox hung in there with a mix of originals and repeats, opening with an encore of “Bob’s Burgers” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) and a first-run “The Cleveland Show” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall). And from 8 to 10 p.m., the net aired repeats of top shows “The Simpsons” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), and drew numbers comparable to those for original episodes of “Bob’s Burgers” at 8:30 p.m. (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” at 9:30 p.m. (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall). Fox was the No. 1 broadcaster for the night in adults 18-34 (1.5/5).

At NBC, a two-hour repeat of “The Voice” averaged a 0.8/3 in 18-49 and 3.3 million viewers overall, followed by “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall). Both shows were down a bit from last week, though “Apprentice” tied for the broadcast lead in demos from 10 to 11.

This was the final Sunday prior to the start of the May sweep, which starts Thursday. All Sunday series will air new episodes next week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.5/4; Fox, 1.4/4; NBC, 1.2/3; Univision, 0.8/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.6 million; ABC, 6.6 million; NBC, 4.1 million; Fox, 3.2 million; Univision, 2.2 million.

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