Fox sports top slot Sun. with Sox, NFL

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A football overrun and Red Sox playoff heroics lifted Fox to the top of the Nielsen standings Sunday night, while CBS' musical drama "Viva Laughlin" flatlined in its regular time slot premiere.

Reliable data for the live sports broadcasts won't be available until Tuesday, but early estimates project Fox's NFL spillover and the coverage of ALCS' Game 7, which completed the Sox's dramatic comeback, netting an average of 17.9 million viewers and a 6.4 rating/16 share among adults 18-49.

Sunday was a strong night for sports all around, with NBC scoring a healthy 10.4 million viewers, 4.2/10 in 18-49 with its "Football Night in America"/"Sunday Night Football" combo, up 27% in the demo from last week.

On a testosterone-dominated night, ABC's female-friendly Sunday lineup emerged unscathed. At 9 p.m., "Desperate Housewives" (17.8 million, 7.1/16) was down just a fraction from last week but ranked as the highest-rated regularly scheduled program on the night in adults 18-49 and handily won the hour in the demo, the only program to do that against Fox.

ABC's unscripted block of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (8.4 million, 2.6/8) at 7 p.m. and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (13.6 million, 5.0/12) at 8 p.m. was actually up from last week by double digits in 18-49.

Without a football overrun, CBS was a distant fourth in the 18-49 demo for the night.

Its lowlight was "Laughlin." After a low-rated debut Thursday, the series co-starring Hugh Jackman logged a minuscule 6.8 million viewers and a 1.2/3 at 8 p.m. and shed almost a third of its audience between the first and the second half-hour.
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