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ABC, NBC Premieres Sluggish

Reality show 'Whodunnit' and drama 'Crossing Lines' stumble out of the gate Sunday night

Even a pair of premieres — ABC’s “Whodunnit” and NBC’s “Crossing Lines” — couldn’t excite audiences for broadcast television on Sunday, a night when cable distractions included a sky-wire escape on Discovery, the premiere of “Devious Maids” on Lifetime and the season finale of “Mad Men” on AMC.

In the latest example of how big sports ratings don’t always translate into good numbers for entertainment programs that were promoted during the action, ABC’s reality combo of “Celebrity Wife Swap” (1.3 rating/4 share in adults 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and “Whodunnit?” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) settled for lackluster premiere scores, according to Nielsen preliminary estimates. “Wife Swap” edged out Fox’s animated comedy repeats for the Big Four lead in 18-49, while the mystery reality series “Whodunnit” lagged Fox’s cartoons. The Alphabet bookended its night with encores of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Castle” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

But even those modest premiere ratings for the ABC shows looked good compared to the debut of NBC’s scripted drama “Crossing Lines” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall), which aired after a repeat of “America’s Got Talent” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall). “Crossing Lines” edged out drama repeats on ABC and CBS in 18-49 for the 10 p.m. hour and made NBC the most-watched broadcast network overall from 9 to 11.

Fox, which tied with ABC for the Big Four lead in adults 18-49 with a mere 1.1 rating/4 share, aired all encores: “The Cleveland Show” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).

Telemundo had another good showing for its kids version of “The Voice” averaged a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers overall.

Ratings for Sunday’s cable programs will be released by Nielsen later today or tomorrow.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC and Fox, 1.4/4; NBC, 0.8/2; Telemundo and Univision, 0.7/2; CBS, 0.6/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 4.9 million; NBC, 4.2 million; ABC, 4.0 million; Fox, 2.5 million; Univision, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.8 million.

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