ABC Sweeps Sunday Demo; CBS Does

NBC's 'Believe' matches its top Sunday rating to date

Paced by “Once Upon a Time,” which tied with Fox’s “Family Guy” as the night’s top program among young adults, ABC scored a narrow victory in key demos Sunday and was the only broadcaster to improve upon its performance on the opening night of the May sweep a year ago. “60 Minutes” and “The Good Wife” were the night’s most-watched programs overall as CBS won easily in total viewers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” kicked off the night for ABC (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), matching its season high in 18-49 and winning the opening hour in the demo. “Once Upon a Time” followed (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), rising 24% above its Easter night average of last week (1.7) for a three-week demo high; it was up a tick from the 2.0 it did on the opening Sunday of the sweep a year ago. At 9 p.m., “Resurrection” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) dipped a bit more one week from its finale, though it has consistently been the top-rated broadcast series in 18-49 for its hour. And at 10 p.m., “Revenge” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) hit a low, down a tenth from its prior original of two weeks ago but tying for the broadcast lead in 18-49.

ABC won the night in 18-49 and 25-54, rising a tick from its year-ago average in the former. All three of its dramas improved the net’s time-period averages from a year ago in 18-49.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) bounced back from its sub-par Easter night showing of one week earlier to place second for its hour in 18-49 and first in 25-54 (2.1/6) while drawing more total viewers than any other Sunday program. It was followed by “The Amazing Race” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall), which picked up two tenths from last week and placed first or second in most categories (finishing close behind “Once Upon a Time” in 18-49). “The Good Wife” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) held steady and was Sunday’s most-watched scripted program, and “The Mentalist” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall) capped the night by tying with “Revenge” for the 18-49 broadcast lead while winning in 25-54 and dominating in total viewers.

Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) shot up by 83% from last week when it was the net’s only comedy original on the night. It was followed by “American Dad” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from its prior original. The net’s top Sunday programs remain vets “Family Guy” at 8:30 (2.1/6 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and “The Simpsons” at 8 (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), with the former even with its most recent original and the latter off 12%. Science series “Cosmos” held steady at 9 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall).

NBC’s lineup was up across the board from its Easter night results of last week, with “Believe” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) gaining a tenth for the second straight week  to match its top regular-slot 18-49 score and pull within a tenth of “The Good Wife” in 18-49, and “Crisis” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) rising a tenth as well. The dramas may be benefiting from NBC’s stronger performance in the 8 o’clock hour with newsmag “Dateline” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), which was up three-tenths vs. last week’s Easter night score and matched its top Sunday rating since Jan. 5. Kicking off the night, “American Dream Builders” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) was up two-tenths from last week.

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

In total viewers: CBS, 9.2 million; ABC, 6.4 million; Fox, 4.5 million; NBC, 3.3 million.

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