ABC tops sluggish Sunday

Audiences in love with 'Newlyweds'

One week from the return of its “Desperate Housewives,” ABC remained the top-rated network in key demos on Sunday, getting a solid performance from the finale of “Here Come the Newlyweds.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “Here Come the Newlyweds” (3.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) won its hour in key demos, a feat it achieved in all six of its telecasts. It also grew a bit week to week despite following the lowest-rated episode to date of “Oprah’s Big Give” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall). “Give,” which narrowly won its hour in 18-49, was slowed this week by a repeat lead-in from “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall).

“Home Edition” did win its hour, though, as did 7 o’clock’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), giving ABC a sweep of the night’s hours in the 18-49 demo.

At CBS, following a low-rated “60 Minutes” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall), “Big Brother” was below average (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), while a firstrun episode of “Cold Case” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) was in line with its recent performances and stood as the night’s most-watched program overall. Closing out the evening, “Dexter” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) placed second in the 10 o’clock hour.

Fox was lower than usual as well with its lineup that included a repeat “The Simpsons” at 8 (2.7/8 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), an original “King of the Hill” at 8:30 (2.5/7 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and an hour of “Family Guy” repeats at 9 (3.1/7 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall).

NBC struggled throughout the night with “Dateline” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), repurposed episodes of USA dramas “Monk” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “Psych” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) and a repeat of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.9/8; Fox, 2.3/6; CBS, 2.1/6; NBC, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.1/3; CW, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 8.8 million; ABC, 8.7 million; NBC, 5.4 million; Fox, 4.8 million; Univision, 2.5 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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