Nick and Jessica score for ABC

Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

ABC scored a rare nightly victory Sunday in key demos behind strong showings for the “Nick and Jessica Variety Hour” spec and hot reality skein “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

From 9 to 10, “Nick and Jessica,” starring married couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, was the night’s top-rated broadcast in adults 18-49 (4.7/11, 11.4 million viewers overall), besting the score of every episode of “Alias” to air in the slot this season. It built in 18-49 rating on its first-place lead-in from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (4.5/12 in adults 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall), which hit series highs in adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and key male demos. ABC also led in 18-49 at 7 with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.5/9, 7.8 million viewers overall) and tied for the lead at 10 with “Alias” (3.8/10, 8.7 million viewers overall).

CBS edged out Fox for second on the night in 18-49 and led in total viewers, paced by the broadcast premiere of Mel Gibson pic “The Patriot” (3.1/8 in adults 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall). Fox’s nearly all-repeat lineup was led by an 8:30 encore of “The Simpsons” (3.6/9 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall).

NBC’s original movie “Homeland Security” averaged a nothing-special 3.1/8 in adults 18-49 and 9 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.9/11; CBS, 2.8/8; Fox, 2.7/8; NBC, 2.5/7; WB, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 10.1 million; ABC, 9.9 million; NBC, 8.5 million; Fox, 6.2 million; WB, 2.3 million.

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