'Desperate Housewives' leads Sunday ratings

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NEW YORK -- The "Desperate Housewives" premiere led ABC to a primetime win Sunday night but dropped 23% from last year's season opener.

"Desperate Housewives" was the top show in primetime with 19 million viewers and a 7.4 rating/17 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research. "Desperate," still a big draw on Sundays, was down 23% from last year's 9.6/21 although it was the series' best ratings since Nov. 26, 2006.

ABC has continually said that the true performance of "Desperate Housewives" and other returning programs won't be known until the live-plus-7 ratings come out in October.

It was a similar story for the rest of ABC's Sunday premieres. The 7 p.m. edition of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (9.3 million, 2.9/9) was down 26% in adults 18-49 while the 8 p.m. edition of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (14 million, 4.7/12) was down 27% in the demo. The 10 p.m. drama "Brothers & Sisters" (13.3 million, 5.1/13) dropped 15% from its freshman premiere although it, too, had its best ratings since Nov. 26.

CBS's lineup is down year-to-year in its second week, although "Cold Case" (13.5 million, 3.4/8) is up from last week's premiere (12.7 million, 3.1/7) and "Shark" (11.4 million, 2.7/7) was up slightly from last week's premiere (11.4 million, 2.6/7). A 90-minute "60 Minutes" (12.8 million, 2.8/7), with an interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was up from last week's premiere as well. CBS got a boost early in the night with runover from the Broncos-Colts game.

Fox didn't have a football overrun this week. "The Simpsons" (8.4 million, 4.2/11) was down from last week's premiere (9.5 million, 4.7/13) as was "King of the Hill" (7.2 million, 3.5/9) and "Family Guy" (7.9 million, 4.2/10) although it was tied with "The Simpsons" for the highest-rated Fox program in adults 18-49 for the night. The premiere of "American Dad" (6 million, 3.1/7) was down 6% from the time period performance (3.3/7) for "The War at Home."

NBC's Eagles-Giants "Sunday Night Football" ratings won't be available until Tuesday, although the ratings are likely to increase.

For the entire night of primetime, ABC (13.9 million, 5.0/13) led the night in adults 18-49 followed by NBC (11.3 million, 4.6/12); CBS (13.2 million, 3.2/8); Fox (6.4 million, 3.2/8); and The CW (866,000, 0.4/1).
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