March Madness Lead-in Propels CBS to Sunday Win

NBC’s "Celebrity Apprentice" also delivers a season high, while "Secret Millionaire" performs strong for ABC.

CBS’ NCAA-juiced primetime line-up propelled the network to a ratings win on Sunday night. With Virginia Commonwealth University’s stunning upset over top-seeded Kansas, CBS’ primetime slip 17 minutes averaging a 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 12.5 million viewers overall from 7-11 p.m. According to preliminary ratings, both The Amazing Race (2.8, 10.9 million) and Undercover Boss (3.1, 11.7 million) posted week-to-week gains to sweep their respective time periods in the demo and among total viewers.

Fox’s animated lineup – which featured a mix of reruns and originals – averaged a 2.2 rating with 4.7 million viewers. A new episode of The Simpsons (2.8, 6.1 million) was up 12% compared to its previous original on March 13. And American Dad (2.5, 4.9 million) jumped 25% compared to its last original way back in February. But new comedy Bob’s Burgers (2.2, 4.5 million) was flat week-to-week.
NBC averaged a 2.0 rating in the demo with 6.0 million viewers overall with America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.3, 3.6 million) up 8% week-to-week and Celebrity Apprentice (3.0, 8.5 million) up 7% for a season high.
With reruns of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, ABC averaged a 1.4 rating with 6.2 million viewers overall, though Secret Millionaire (2.7, 10.5 million) was up 8% week-to-week for second in the 8 p.m. hour behind CBS.