CBS rolled to victory on Sunday behind football’s AFC championship and a nice tune-in for a special preview episode of new crime drama “Numbers,” according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” didn’t miss a beat, though, matching its week-ago averages.

The affiliate-based prelim Nielsens are unreliable for the CBS programs, as the New England Patriots’ victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers aired live, followed by “Numbers” to all timezones at 10 p.m. ET. It looks like “Numbers” should come in at about an 8.6 rating/20 share in adults 18-49 and more than 23 million viewers overall, while the football game likely will average more than 40 million viewers.

Overall, CBS should deliver the highest-rated night of programming for any net this season.

At ABC, “Desperate Housewives” (11.1/22 in adults 18-49, 25.9 million viewers overall) was flat vs. last week’s demo average and up in overall total viewers despite facing football in much of the country. Also, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was a strong second at 8 (7.4/15 in adults 18-49, 18.2 million viewers overall) and “Boston Legal” (6/14 in adults 18-49, 15.8 million viewers overall) was second to “Numbers” at 10.

Fox was led by a repeat of “The Simpsons” at 8 (3.6/7 in adults 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), while NBC struggled mightily with “American Dreams” at 8 (2.2/4 in adults 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), and with theatrical “Bridget Jones’ Diary” from 9 to 11 (2.3/5, 6.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 14/30; ABC, 6.9/15; Fox, 2.6/5; NBC, 2.3/5; WB, 1/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 35.4 million; ABC, 17.1 million; NBC, 7.9 million; Fox, 5.8 million; WB, 2.3 million.