"Desperate Housewives" began its third season in typically strong fashion Sunday, leading ABC to a ratings win over strong competition from CBS and NBC.
ABC averaged a 10.2 rating/16 share in primetime, beating out CBS, 8.9/14, for the top spot. With the increased competition, NBC's Sunday NFL game suffered and the network came in third with a 7.9/12. FOX, 5.8/9, was fourth (FOX and NBC both had live football in primetime, so their numbers may change some). The CW trailed with a 1.7/3.
Among adults 18-49, ABC's 6.4 rating gave the network a comfortable lead over NBC's 4.6. FOX, 4.4, finished third, while CBS, despite its solid overall numbers, managed only fourth in the demographic with a 3.6. The CW drew a 1.1.
CBS' "60 Minutes" won the 7 o'clock hour with an 8.2/14. FOX scored a 6.9/12 with late-ending NFL games and the post-game show "The OT." The season premiere of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" delivered a 5.8/10 for ABC, while NBC's "Football Night in America" was fourth at 4.6/8. The CW went with two episodes of "Everybody Hates Chris."
Hour two of "EM: Home Edition" scored a 9.8/16 at 8 p.m. to move ABC into the lead. "Sunday Night Football," featuring the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, finished second for NBC. "The Amazing Race" posted a 6.6/10 for CBS. FOX dropped to fourth with "The Simpsons," 5.9/9, and "American Dad," 5.1/8. A rerun of the "America's Next Top Model" premiere earned a 1.7/3 for The CW.
"Desperate Housewives" premiered to a 14.6/21 on ABC at 9 p.m. The season premiere of CBS' "Cold Case," 9.7/14, edged "Sunday Night Football," 9.6/14, for second. FOX stayed in fourth with "Family Guy," 5.7/8, and "The War at Home," 4.0/6. "Top Model" held steady for The CW.
CBS reclaimed the top spot at 10 p.m. as "Without a Trace," 11.0/18, edged the debut of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters," 10.6/17. "Sunday Night Football" came in at 8.7/14 for NBC.
On Saturday, ABC's college football coverage (Notre Dame vs. Michigan State in most of the country) won the night with a 5.1/9. CBS and NBC tied for second at 4.6/8, and FOX took fourth with a 3.9/7.