Emily VanCamp in "Revenge"

CBS and Fox tie for the broadcast lead among young adults, with the Eye tops in total viewers

On another Sunday when cable figured to produce big numbers for programs like “The Walking Dead” and “The Bible,” ABC’s “Revenge” bounced back a bit from its recent low, but the net’s new closer on the night, “Red Widow,” looks shaky after a second weak outing.

The start of Daylight Saving Time typically most affects programs airing in the 8 o’clock hour — and usage levels were down a meaningful 6.5% from 8 to 9 p.m. week to week — but both ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and Fox’s “The Simpsons” held at their week-ago levels while CBS’ “The Amazing Race” was down a bit. With “Family Guy” as the evening’s No. 1 show in adults 18-49, Fox tied with CBS for first among the Big Four in the demo — but AMC figures to win the night in adults 18-49 when nationals for cable are released tomorrow.

Overall, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC opened the night lower than last week with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), and it’s certainly not surprising to see that happen to a family-friendly show at the start of Daylight Saving Time. “Once Upon a Time” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) held at its series-low level set last week, but at least avoiding dipping further. It was followed by the first episode in three weeks for “Revenge” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall), which grew 11% from its low 1.8 score on Feb. 17 and finished  second to Fox among the Big Four for the 18-49 lead in the 9 o’clock hour. And closing out the night, “Red Widow” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) dropped 20% (0.3) from its soft two-hour series premiere score last week, finishing well behind NBC and CBS in the 10 p.m. hour.

At Fox, both “The Simpsons” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and a special “The Cleveland Show” at 8:30 p.m. (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) matched their week-ago deliveries, with the former neck and neck with ABC and CBS for the 18-49 lead in the 8 o’clock half-hour and winning among the 18-34 crowd (2.4/8). The first original episode of “Family Guy” in three weeks stood as Sunday’s No. 1 broadcast in 18-49 (2.6/7, 5.2 million viewers overall), up from its Feb. 17 average. A special 9:30 p.m. airing of “Bob’s Burgers” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) grew by just a bit week to week even though it had a considerably stronger lead-in this time around. In the opening hour, Fox aired a repeat “Bob’s Burger’s” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and a special 7:30 p.m. episode of “American Dad” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), which matched last week’s “Cleveland Show.”

CBS, the night’s leader in total viewers and the No. 1 broadcaster in adults 25-54, opened with “60 Minutes” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall), which led its hour in all key categories and was the most-watched program on the major nets. “The Amazing Race” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) followed with slight declines from last week but again finished ahead of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” in 18-49 and was the night’s No. 1 broadcast in adults 25-54 (3.3/8). “The Good Wife” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) was down a tick week to week, while “The Mentalist” was up slightly at 10 (1.6/4 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) matched its premiere score of last week, again beating ABC and CBS for the 10 o’clock hour in 18-49. A repeat of the season opener aired from 7 to 9 p.m. (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS and Fox, 1.8/5; ABC, 1.7/5; NBC, 1.3/3; Univision, 1.0/3.
In total viewers, CBS, 9.8 million; ABC, 6.5 million; Fox, 3.9 million; NBC, 3.8 million; Univision, 2.7 million.

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