ABC gives Sunday dose of ratings reality


ABC won its sixth Sunday in a row as its freshman reality shows displayed some ratings gains. On CBS, the return of "Cold Case" to original episodes resulted in a modest improvement.

Last week, "Oprah's Big Give" and "Here Come the Newlyweds" stabilized after a few weeks of post-premiere drops. On Sunday night, both shows built on their newly-established Nielsen bottoms, with "Oprah" up 15% (11.3 million viewers, 3.9 preliminary adults 18 to 49 rating and a 9 share) and "Newlyweds" climbing 11% (7.6 million, 3.1/8). Along with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (12.8 million, 4.5/11) and a repeat, ABC won the night in viewers and the demo (10 million, 3.5/9).

CBS was second, boosted by a half hour of NCAA overrun that pushed its regular lineup off the usual start times. Ratings should be considered temporary for the CBS lineup, including "60 Minutes" (12.2 million, 3.1/8) and "Big Brother" (8 million, 2.7/7). At about 9:35 p.m., "Cold Case" (9.3 million 2.6/7) returned up slightly from its last original episode in February, followed by a broadcast original of "Dexter" (6.9 million 2.2/6).

In third place, Fox aired six half-hour comedies, including the season finale of "Unhitched" (4.2 million, 2.1/5) and originals of "Simpsons" (7.1 million, 3.4/9) and "King of the Hill" (6 million, 2.7/7).

NBC aired its semi-annual "Countdown With Keith Olberman" special (3.4 million, 0.6/2), which tied with the CW's "America's Next Top Model" repeat to place last in the 7 p.m. hour. NBC also had "Dateline" (6.7 million, 1.7/4) and "Law & Order" franchise repeats.

The CW had repeats and a pair of original comedies, "Everybody Hates Chris" (1.3 million, 0.5/1) and "The Game" (1.5 million, 0.7/2).