ABC tramples competition on Sun.


NEW YORK -- Despite CBS's rush of ratings from a half-hour of football overrun and a strong "60 Minutes," ABC rumbled over the competition in Sunday night's primetime.

New episodes of the ABC lineup gave the Alphabet Network wins in viewers (15.4 million) and the adults 18-49 demographic (5.6 rating/14 share), according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research.

CBS and NBC split second-place honors, with CBS there in viewers (15 million) and NBC's "Sunday Night Football" there in the demo (5.2/13).

"Desperate Housewives" (21.1 million, 8.3/19) was the night's most popular show in both key audience measures. Nothing else came close, including NBC's "Sunday Night Football" (whose live nature made ratings unreliable).

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (15.8 million, 5.5/13) was the winner in the 8 p.m. hour, while it appeared the Dallas-Carolina game would win the 10 p.m. hour against ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (12.7 million, 5.0/13) and CBS's "Without a Trace." ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" averaged 12 million viewers and a 3.5/10 in the demo at 7 p.m.

CBS's primetime lineup got started a half-hour later thanks to a football overrun, which gave CBS 22.5 million viewers and a 6.7/19 in the demo between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

That seemed to benefit "60 Minutes" (15.8 million, 4.1/11). CBS lost some viewers for "The Amazing Race" (12.3 million, 3.9/9) before getting some of them back for "Cold Case" (14 million, 3.6/8).

The 10:30 p.m.-11 p.m. half hour of "Without a Trace" averaged 13.6 million viewers and a 3.7/10 in the demo. But the numbers may still be revised later on.

Fox, which would have had Game 7 of the World Series if St. Louis hadn't clinched on Friday night, programmed repeats and averaged 4.4 million viewers and a 2.0/5 in the demo.

Nightly averages: ABC (15.4 million, 5.6/14); CBS (15 million, 4.2/10); NBC (13.3 million, 5.2/13); Fox (4.4 million, 2.0./5); and The CW (2.1 million, 0.8/2).