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NBC’s telecast of the Golden Globes took a big hit in the ratings Sunday, thanks in large part to the continued boffo ratings of ABC’s tandem of “Desperate Housewives” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.

The first big kudocast of the year averaged a 5.7 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 16.8 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 – down roughly 40% vs. last year in demos and the lowest scores since NBC began airing the show in 1996. The Globes did see a jump after “Housewives” ended, peaking with a 7.1/16 in adults 18-49 in the 10 o’clock half-hour.

ABC, meanwhile, racked up its strongest Sunday since the Academy Awards last February, powered by “Desperate Housewives” (11/24 in adults 18-49, 24 million viewers overall) and the second half of a two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at 8 (9/20 in adults 18-49, 20.4 million viewers overall). At 10, “Boston Legal” (5.7/14 in adults 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall) placed second to the Globes.

CBS had a huge start to the evening with the final 45 minutes of the NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, which racked up the highest metered-market rating for a conference semifinal contest in seven years (24.3 rating/41 share in households). Net was solid but unspectacular the rest of the evening with “60 Minutes” at 8 (4.3/10 in adults 18-49, 16.2 million viewers overall) and a new “Cold Case” at 9 (4.3/9 in adults 18-49, 15.5 million viewers overall).

Fox was a distant fourth on the night, paced by “The Simpsons” (4/9 in adults 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 7.5/17; CBS, 6/14; NBC, 4.8/11; Fox, 2.8/6; WB, 1/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 18.9 million; ABC, 17.5 million; NBC, 14.7 million; Fox, 5.8 million; WB, 2.6 million.