'Housewives' rally as ABC wins week

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NEW YORK -- With no new "Grey's Anatomy," another ABC drama -- "Desperate Housewives" -- vaulted to the top of the ratings heap Sunday, giving ABC a win in the demo while CBS won the week in viewers.

Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday that Sunday's "Housewives" (21.2 million, 8.3/19) was by far last week's top show in both demos. ABC had three of the top five shows in viewers and two of the top five in the demo. "Lost" (17.1 million, 7.1/17) was the second-highest-rated show in the demo, coming in ahead of top five "NBC Sunday Night Football" (17.3 million, 6.8/17), "Heroes" (14.4 million, 6.3/15) and "CSI: Miami" (17.8 million, 6.1/5). "Heroes" hit a series-high in the demo last week.

While "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" joined "Grey's" in resting Thursday, the other franchise show -- "CSI: NY" (17.4 million, 5.6/15) -- hit the top 10 as did three other ABC shows: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (15.6 million, 5.5/13), "Dancing With the Stars" (20.7 million, 5.4/14) and "Dancing's" results show (20 million, 5.1/14). Both editions of "Dancing" were the second- and third-most-watched shows of the week.

It was a tough week for Fox, which had the dubious honor of broadcasting the lowest-rated World Series ever. It was lower than last year's Chicago White Sox-Houston Astros series, though Fox had a five-game series this year for the first time since 2003. There also was a rainout. Fox averaged 10 million viewers and a 3.2/9 for the week, which included three World Series games. Fox did win all three nights in viewers and the demo while the games were on, including Friday's series-ender.

But not one of the games were in the top 10 in viewers; only Game 4 made the top 10, just barely, in adults 18-49 with a 5.1/15 that was tied with last week's "Dancing" results show.

"Criminal Minds" (16.8 million, 4.4/11) had another good week, as did "Ugly Betty" (13.1 million, 4.2/12), which tied with rival "Survivor: Cook Islands" (12.6 million, 4.2/12) in the demo and outpaced it slightly in viewers.

The 8 p.m. Friday hour became a new battleground, with CBS' "Ghost Whisperer" (10.9 million, 3.1/10) prevailing against NBC's new game show "1 vs. 100" (9.7 million, 2.9/9) on a night when the last game of the 2006 World Series was played and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on ABC drew 7.8 million viewers and a 2.6/9 among adults 18-49.

CBS continued the winning streak in viewers with "Close to Home" (10.8 million, 2.7/80), though the season premiere of "Las Vegas" (9.3 million, 3.1/9) beat it in the demo. CBS won in viewers and the demo at 10 p.m. with "Numbers" (11.1 million, 3.1/9).

The CW's Monday sitcoms registered their highest viewership totals of the season; "Everybody Hates Chris" (3.6 million, 1.4/4) also had its best adults 18-49 rating for the season.

The evening news race wasn't as kind to CBS, which continued to place third. "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" won viewers and the adults 25-54 demo for the week ending Oct. 27. NBC averaged 8.8 million viewers compared with "ABC World News With Charles Gibson's" 8.4 million and 7.3 million viewers for "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." It was the highest viewership for NBC since March 27, while it was the second-lowest viewership for CBS since Couric began anchoring Sept. 5. NBC also won in the demo with a 2.4 rating compared with ABC's 2.2 and CBS' 1.9.

Total-viewer averages: CBS, 12.3 million; ABC, 11.4 million; Fox, 10 million; NBC, 9.7 million; the CW, 3.6 million; Univision, 3.2 million; and Telemundo, 800,000.

Adults 18-49 averages: ABC, 3.9/11; CBS, 3.6/10; NBC, 3.5/10; Fox, 3.2/9; the CW, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.3/4; and Telemundo, 0.3/1.

In cable ratings news, VH1 drew 5.9 million total viewers to its one-hour "Flavor of Love 2" reunion special at 8 p.m. Sunday, making it the No. 1 show of the day in all of cable among total viewers.

At 9 p.m. Sunday, the second episode of VH1's "Hogan Knows Best 3" averaged 2.7 million total viewers -- the second-most-watched episode in the series' history -- while the second episode of "Breaking Bonaduce 2" at 9:30 p.m. drew 1.5 million, making it the most-watched episode in the history of the series.

Meanwhile, the second-season finale of Showtime's "Weeds" drew 626,000 viewers in its airing from 10-10:30 p.m. Monday night, making it the most-watched single telecast of any "Weeds" episode ever. At 10:30 p.m., a repeat airing drew an additional 245,000 viewers, while a midnight run drew another 206,000 viewers for a total of more than 1 million viewers over the three airings.

Kimberly Nordyke in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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