Cool Carlin heats Fox’s Sunday bid

Fox Broadcasting Co. had something to smile about before the ground started shaking as its new sitcom, “The George Carlin Show,” got off to a strong startSunday, according to preliminary Nielsen overnight results.

Carlin’s Warner Bros. TV sitcom equaled the 20 share posted by its lead-in, “Married … With Children,” as Fox posted a rare tie with CBS for first place in the hour. The weblet has struggled for years to find a series that can retain “Married’s” lead-in, having already canceled “Daddy Dearest” during the fall.

Diana Ross’ first dramatic role in more than 15 years, meanwhile, hit a fairly flat ratings note, as the ABC movie “Out of the Darkness” averaged a 19 share, trailing CBS from 9-11 p.m. The project is the first of three movies Ross will produce and/or star infor the network.

NBC’s late Kansas City-Houston playoff game Sunday ran over a half-hour into primetime, averaging a huge 47 share in the overnights from 7-7:30 p.m. CBS’ “60 Minutes” was held to a 30 share by the game but jumped to a 39 in the second half of the hour.

Continuous earthquake coverage locally will result in preemption of network fare Monday.

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