Disappointing return for 'Housewives'


CORRECTED 10:55 p.m. PT April 14, 2008

ABC's "Desperate Housewives" became the latest scripted drama to return to air, but with disappointing ratings results.

Without an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," on the lineup, the network moved "Oprah's Big Give" to the 8 p.m. slot (8.9 million total viewers and a preliminary 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 and an 8 share) which had a tough time jump-starting the night. "Big Give" was down 9% from last week to post a season low.

Receiving its weakest lead-in to date, "Desperate" had its lowest original telecast ever on Sunday night (16 million, 5.7/13) yet handily won the 9 p.m. hour.

At 10 p.m., ABC tried out Thursday night regular "Eli Stone," which benefited from the strong lead-in (9.2 million, 2.9/7). "Stone" was up 16% from its season average and won the 10 p.m. hour.

Still, ABC outperformed competitors to win its eighth consecutive Sunday.

CBS was second with "60 Minutes" (14.1 million, 3.2/10) "Big Brother" (10.7 million, 2.7/7), "Cold Case" (8.8 million, 2.5/6) and "Dexter" (8.2 million, 2.4/6). Fox was third with animated comedies, including original episodes of "Simpsons" (6.9 million, 3.3/9) and "King of the Hill" (6 million, 2.8/7).

On NBC, repurposed episodes from USA Network of "Monk" (5.2 million, 1.1/3) and "Psych" (4.2 million, 1.2/3) dropped 27% and 8%, respectively, from last week's broadcast network premieres. The network also aired "Dateline" (6.1 million, 1.3/4) and a repeat. The CW was on par (averaging 1.2 million, 0.5/1).