ABC, CBS split Sunday ratings honors


NEW YORK -- ABC and CBS split Sunday night's primetime, with ABC winning the adults 18-49 demographic while CBS won in viewership with more than a half million viewers to spare.

"Desperate Housewives" was the night's top show in key demos with 16.9 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/16 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research. It was down slightly from last week (17.2 million, 6.8/17) but was still well ahead of CBS' "Cold Case" (13.6 million, 3.2/8) in the 9 p.m. hour. "Cold Case" was up from last week (12.1 million, 2.7/7).

ABC won the 8 p.m. hour with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (11.6 million, 4.3/12), which showed improvement week-to-week (10.7 million, 4.0/12). It came in ahead of "Amazing Race" (10.5 million, 3.3/9) and "Deal or No Deal" (9 million, 2.2/6) plus a new episode of "The Simpsons" (7.7 million, 3.7/10) and a repeat of "The Simpsons" (7.9 million, 3.8/9).

Fox had its strongest half hour of the night at 9 p.m. with a new episode of "Family Guy" (7.9 million, 3.8/9) then followed it with "American Dad" (6.5 million, 2.9/7).

NBC did better than it has been since "Sunday Night Football" went off the air with the two-hour special "Saturday Night Live in the '90s: Pop Culture Nation" (7.9 million, 3.6/9) which was NBC's highest adults 18-49 rating in the time period since Jan. 7.

Yet CBS and ABC split the 10 p.m. hour with "Brothers & Sisters" (11.2 million, 4.3/11) winning in the demo while "Without a Trace" (14.6 milllion, 3r.7/10). The 7 p.m. hour was also split between the two networks with "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7.6 million, 2.4/8) tops in the demo while "60 Minutes" (11.2 million, 2.0/7) drawing the highest viewers.

Nightly averages: ABC (11.8 million, 4.4/12); CBS (12.5 million, 3.0/8); NBC (7.8 million, 2.8/8); Fox (6.2 million, 2.9/8); and The CW (1.9 million, 0.7/2).