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‘Whodunnit?’ Up With Finale, ‘Big Brother’ Down on Sunday

HBO's 'True Blood,' AMC's 'Breaking Bad' likely the night's top-rated programs in young adults

ABC’s unscripted competition series “Whodunnit?” was a ratings laggard this summer, but its finale on Sunday shot up to series-high numbers. CBS’ “Big Brother” remained the night’s top broadcast series in key demos, while Fox did well with a special NFL preseason game.

Of course, cable was again a big ratings force on Sunday, with its programming including AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and the season finale of HBO’s “True Blood,” which are expected to deliver the night’s top two series ratings in young adults.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, Fox won Sunday with its Indianapolis Colts-New York Giants preseason NFL contest, which averaged a 1.8 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 7 to 10:30 p.m., numbers that could edge up in the nationals when all West Coast tune-in is included.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was followed by “Big Brother” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which ran second to football in 18-49 but was Sunday’s No. 1 broadcast series in 18-49 and 25-54 (2.5/7); still, it was down about 15% from last week, when the CBS lineup was boosted by late-afternoon golf action that spilled into primetime. First-run drama “Unforgettable” held steady at 9 (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), and was followed by a repeat of “The Mentalist” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall).

ABC opened with a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), followed by “Secret Millionaire” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall), which was up a smidge from the previous week. At 9, “Whodunnit?” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) was up more than 25% from last week

NBC slogged its way through another Sunday with an encore of “America’s Got Talent” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and the two-hour finale of drama “Crossing Lines” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 1.8/5; CBS, 1.2/4; ABC, 1.0/3; Univision, 0.7/2; NBC and Telemundo, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 6.3 million; Fox, 5.5 million; ABC, 4.0 million; NBC, 2.3 million; Univision, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million.

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