“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives” dominated their timeslots Sunday, as ABC rolled to its 14th straight demo victory on the night.
This may be their final sweep as skedmates, though, as speculation has Alphabet programmers splitting up the dynamic duo next fall in a bid to spread the wealth to more ratings-challenged nights.
While Fox’s “American Idol” is easily the top-rated program among young adults, “Desperate” and “Grey’s” will finish the season as the top-rated scripted skeins in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen.
ABC will announce its fall sked in two weeks.
On the first Sunday of the May sweep, “Grey’s” was up sharply year-to-year and again built on its big “Housewives” lead-in among adults 18-49. The Alphabet also rolled earlier in the evening with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
It wasn’t a great night for the broadcasters overall, though, as most hit shows were off compared with the opening Sunday of last May’s sweep, according to Nielsen. Combined, the five broadcast nets settled for a preliminary 43 share in adults 18-49 on Sunday — down from a 49 on the comparable night a year ago.
Hot medical series “Grey’s Anatomy” (prelim 9.7 rating/23 share in adults 18-49, 20.7 million viewers overall) was a major exception, rising 18% above its demo score of a year ago and building on “Desperate Housewives” (prelim 8.9/20 in 18-49, 21.4 million). “Grey’s” has been Sunday’s No. 1 program in 18-49 with each original episode since its post-Super Bowl airing in early February.
“Housewives” was up over its most recent original episode and was within 1 share of matching the combined CBS-NBC-Fox delivery in 18-49 for the hour. Credit HBO’s “The Sopranos,” though, for at least some of the sudser’s 13% year-to-year drop.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (prelim 5.7/15 in 18-49, 14.2 million) also was down vs. last year but held a commanding edge in 18-49 over Fox’s second-place combo of “The Simpsons” (prelim 4.2/12 in 18-49, 8.7 million) and “The War at Home” (prelim 3.6/9, 7.3 million).
“The Simpsons” was off year-to-year, as was CBS’ “Cold Case” (prelim 2.9/8 in 18-49), which ran second for its hour in 25-54 (4.2/10).
At 9, Fox’s “Family Guy” (prelim 3.9/9, 7.6 million) was second in 18-49, but it was down sharply from last year, when it had just rejoined Fox’s lineup.
NBC was paced by “Crossing Jordan” (prelim 3.5/8 in 18-49, 9.2 million), which was up a tick year-to-year despite stronger ABC competish.
At CBS, Tom Selleck telepic “Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise” drew a sizable overall aud (14.7 million), was on par with the movie’s season average in 18-49 (2.7/6) and was up in 25-54 (4.0/10 vs. 3.5/8).