Resurrection (Disney/ABC)

ABC had put an end to its string of low-rated drama premieres as “Resurrection” — despite facing AMC’s own back-from-the-dead drama “The Walking Dead” — opened to strong numbers Sunday night. It built nicely on its “Once Upon a Time” lead-in and was easily the evening’s top broadcast program as the net won the night in demos.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Resurrection” averaged a 3.6 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour, making it a close second to NBC’s “The Blacklist” as the top drama series launch of the season in 18-49. The 3.6 rating for “Resurrection” is 33% higher than the combined scores for the first three dramas ABC rolled out in 2014 — a 2.7 for “The Assets” (0.7), “Killer Women” (0.9) and “Mind Games” (1.1).

In its time period, “Resurrection” gave ABC its best regular series performance in adults 18-49 in the Sunday 9 p.m. hour since January 2011 (“Desperate Housewives”) and its largest overall audience for a regular series there since January 2010 (also “Desperate Housewives”).

“Resurrection” built by more than 50% in young adults from its “Once Upon a Time” lead-in (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) as the fairytale-themed drama returned after a lengthy break with gains of about 20% from its last original — despite the handicap of Daylight Saving Time. ABC opened the night with the catch-up special “Once Upon a Time: Wicked Is Coming” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and closed with the timeslot premiere of “Revenge” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which was back for the first time since January. Though above its prior 9 p.m. average (and providing a big timeslot improvement for the net at 10 p.m.), “Revenge” lost about half of its big “Resurrection” lead-in, as it’s clear that the 9 p.m. premiere brought a lot of viewers who came to the network for just that show.

Fox was expected later today to issue detailed data on the premiere of its “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which premiered simultaneously in the U.S. across 10 different Fox networks, including FX and some sports networks. The Fox broadcast airing drew a solid 2.1/5 in 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers overall. Leading into “Cosmos” were “Bob’s Burgers” at 7 p.m. in its new time period (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” at a special 8:30 time (2.2/6 in 18-49).

CBS, which won Sunday in total viewers, opened with “60 Minutes” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) and “The Amazing Race” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), followed by the returns of dramas “The Good Wife” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall). “Race” was up about 20% from last week (opposite the Oscars on ABC) while “Good Wife” was down about 15% from its most recent original, and likely was impacted by “Resurrection,” which did more than double what “Revenge” averaged in the hour earlier this season for ABC.

NBC aired a two-hour “Dateline” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) and a special off-night encore of “The Voice” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). The network bows its new Sunday dramas, “Believe” and “Crisis” next week, with the former first getting a special post-“Voice” preview tonight.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.2/7; Fox, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.5 million; ABC, 7.9 million; NBC, 4.7 million; Fox, 4.1 million.

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