ABC in control Sunday

'Makeover,' 'Housewives' lead the night

ABC made it 10 consecutive Sunday victories in key demos, winning this week behind winning perfs in each hour, including “Desperate Housewives” — easily the night’s top-rated program.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC’s string of demo victories on the night started with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (a 2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall with a special 7 o’clock episode and a 3.9/10 in 18-49 and 12.0 million viewers overall in its regular 8 o’clock slot) and concluded with scripted sudsers “Desperate Housewives” (projected 5.9/14 in 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall from 9 to 10:02 p.m.) and “Brothers & Sisters” (projected 3.9/10 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall).

While “Home Edition” was roughly flat year-to-year, “Housewives” was down about 13%, and “Brothers & Sisters” by about 9%. Both of the dramas were up week to week, though.

Fox was runner-up on the night in demos, paced as always by “Family Guy” (4.3/10 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) and “The Simpsons” (3.6/10 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall), which matched or slightly outperformed their ratings for the opening night of the May 2007 sweep. Net didn’t do as well with its laffers on the half-hours, with “King of the Hill” averaging a 3.0/8 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall at 8:30 p.m. and “American Dad” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) losing a sizable chunk of its “Family Guy” lead-in at 9:30.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall) was below average leading off the night, and “Big Brother” didn’t show any growth with its finale (2.3/6 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall). “Cold Case” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall) was on pace with its result of the same week a year ago, while “Dexter” was in line with its recent performances at 10 o’clock (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

NBC’s Sunday struggles continued, though “Dateline” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) hit a six-week high and edged out “60 Minutes” among the under-50 crowd. Following low-rated repeats of “Monk” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and “Psych” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” was more competitive at 10 p.m. (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.0/11; Fox, 3.0/8; CBS, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.0/3; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 11.7 million; CBS, 8.6 million; Fox, 6.2 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Univision, 2.1 million; CW, 1.2 million.

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