Osama Bin Laden Death Stories Jumbles Ratings

According to preliminary numbers, ABC edges NBC on Sunday night, but widespread preemptions mean numbers are still in flux.
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Late breaking news of the killing of Osama bin Laden and President Barack Obama’s address from the White House caused widespread entertainment programming preemptions on Sunday night. But when final numbers are in later Monday, ABC is likely to win the night with new installments of its Sunday lineup of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters.

According to preliminary Nielsen ratings – which will change more than a little – ABC averaged a 2.5 rating for the night in the 18-49 demographic with 8.6 million viewers overall. NBC – which programmed Dateline, America’s Next Great Restaurant and two hours of Celebrity Apprentice – averaged a 2.4 rating with 7.4 million viewers overall.

CBS and Fox both averaged a 2.1 rating for the night while CBS pulled in 9.5 million viewers with 60 Minutes – which featured Lara Logan’s interview about the sexual assault she endured in Egypt – Amazing Race, the finale of Undercover Boss and CSI: Miami, which pre-empted entirely on the West Coast.

Out of sensitivity to the tornado destruction in the south, Fox pulled hurricane themed episodes of The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and American Dad. With only The Simpsons in original episodes last night, the network averaged 4.6 million viewers.