19 mil hot for new 'Housewives'

ABC wins Sunday night with slate of season openers

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

"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 from Nielsen Media Research. "Housewives" was down 23% from last year's 9.6/21, though it was the best-rated episode of the show since Nov. 26.

ABC continually has said that the true performance of "Housewives" and other returning programs won't be known until the live-plus-7 ratings come out this month. Final ratings for Sunday's shows won't be available until today.

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 "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, though it also had its best ratings since Nov. 26.

CBS' lineup is down year-over-year in its second week, though "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 from last week's bow (11.4 million, 2.6/7). A 90-minute "60 Minutes" (12.8 million, 2.8/7) was up from last week's premiere as well. CBS got a boost early in the night with runover from the Denver Broncos-Indianapolis Colts NFL game.

Fox didn't have 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), though it was tied with "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 Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants "Sunday Night Football" ratings won't be available until today.

For Sunday 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).