3.6 mil tune in 'Housewives' opener


LONDON -- Season 3 of "Desperate Housewives" opened Wednesday on Channel 4 as 3.6 million viewers tuned in at 9:30 p.m. for the first episode of a two-hour double bill. The second hour attracted 2.8 million viewers.

The audience was down slightly from the launch of Season 2, which opened last year with 3.9 million viewers.

"Housewives" is Channel 4's most expensive acquisition to date, reputed to have cost more than £1 million ($1.9 million) per episode. But it drew far fewer viewers than the 7.1 million who tuned in at 8 p.m. to watch the 90-minute launch of Channel 4 seasonal staple "Celebrity Big Brother."

"Brother," which this year features Jermaine Jackson and former "A Team" star Dirk Benedict, also includes film director Ken Russell and '70s singer Leo Sayer.