An original episode of smash hit “Desperate Housewives” towered over the competition Sunday night, lifting ABC to another demo victory on the night, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. CBS, powered by the NFL and “60 Minutes,” led the pack in total viewers.
Night also featured a big National Football League contest between the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens on ESPN, which netted a 9.2 household rating/14 share in the metered-market overnights and could come in among the most-watched programs in basic cable history when Nielsen issues national ratings Tuesday.
From 9 to 10, “Desperate Housewives” (9.8 rating/22 share in adults 18-49, 22.2 million viewers overall) roughly matched the demo deliveries of the other four broadcast networks during the hour and easily rated as the top program of the night. Net also led at 10 with “Boston Legal” (5.2/13 in adults 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall), whose ratings tend to come down a bit in nationals.
CBS enjoyed a hearty NFL overrun from the closing quarter of the Green Bay Packers-Jacksonville Jaguars game and then did well with “60 Minutes” (projected 5.2/13 in adults 18-49, 19 million viewers overall).
Fox was paced by a repeat of “The Simpsons” at 8 (3.9/10 in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), NBC by a repeat “Crossing Jordan” at 10 (3.2/8 in adults 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall).
The WB averaged roughly 3.9 million viewers from 7:30 to 10 for its annual airing of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.4/14; CBS, 4.6/12; NBC, 2.8/7; Fox, 2.6/7; WB, 1.3/3.
In total viewers: CBS, 16.3 million; ABC, 13.5 million; NBC, 9.6 million; Fox, 5.5 million; WB, 3.5 million.