'Three Rivers' debut sinks

'Sunday Night Football' propels NBC to ratings win

Bad buzz may have tainted CBS' "Three Rivers," as the medical drama pulled a disappointing premiere rating Sunday night.

Critics say the reworked "Three Rivers" (9.2 million viewers, 2.0 preliminary) pilot improved on an early version that made the rounds, yet nonetheless gave the series heavily mixed reviews landing "Rivers" in a distant fourth place at 9 p.m. "Rivers" was down 26% compared to the debut of "Cold Case" in the spot last year and fell 29% from its "Amazing Race" lead-in.

Over on ABC, the network enjoyed some much-needed positive Sunday-night news. After dramatically dropping for last week's debuts, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (11.7 million, 3.4), "Desperate Housewives" (14.3 million, 4.9) and "Brothers & Sisters" (9.6 million, 3.2) climbed for their second week. "Makeover" was up 10%, "Housewives" up 4% and "Brothers" rose 7%. ABC also had the series premiere of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (8 million, 2.2) at 7 p.m., down 15%.

Overall, NBC led the night with NFL's "Sunday Night Football" (15 million, 6.2), San Diego at Pittsburgh.

Fox was second with its comedy block pulling strong ratings, yet trending like a mirror image of last week -- this time "Simpsons" (9.3 million, 4.3) impressed the most by holding steady, while the other comedies dipped: "Cleveland Show" (8.7 million, 4.2) down 14%, "Family Guy" (9.7 million, 4.9) falling 6% and "American Dad" slipping a minute 3% (7.1 million, 3.5). With "Cleveland" on board, Fox's animated lineup is up 14% from the same night last year.

ABC was third. CBS placed fourth with "60 Minutes" (12.9 million, 2.3) down 28% from its sports-fueled debut last week, followed by "Race" (9.9 million, 2.8) dropping 18% from its premiere, "Rivers" and "Cold Case" (9.7 million, 2.2), which went up a rung.
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