Ratings roundup: 'Desperate Housewives' sinks as football scores
No new series were unveiled Sunday night, but the ratings for season premieres of returning shows revealed that football continued its winning ways for NBC, while CBS and Fox had to settle for some softened numbers. ABC, meanwhile, might have some serious work to do.
NBC's Jets-Dolphins game was the night's most-watched program, averaging 15.5 million total viewers (6.2 rating/16 share among adults ages 18 to 49), according to early data from the Nielsen Co.
The game made it tough for the entertainment premieres to make much noise. The Season 7 rollout of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" (12.8 million) slipped to the series' worst-ever season opener in the ages 18-49 demographic (4.2 rating/10 share), actually sinking to third place behind football and Fox's "Family Guy" (4.5 rating/11 share). At 10 p.m., the Season 5 premiere of the family soap "Brothers & Sisters" was likewise a third-place finisher (9.6 million; 3.0 rating/8 share).
On CBS, "60 Minutes" averaged a healthy 15.4 million, although that number may have been inflated due to runovers of various football games depending on the local TV markets. "The Amazing Race" scored 11.1 million viewers, up 7% from last fall's two-hour premiere. But at 10 p.m., the second season premiere of "Undercover Boss" (11 million; 3.7 rating/10 share) did better than "Cold Case" in the slot last year but plunged 28% compared with the reality show's first post-Super Bowl airing last season.
Fox's animated comedies were down compared with last year's openers but still solid enough amid the competition. The 22nd season of "The Simpsons" opened with a 3.7 rating/10 share (7.8 million viewers overall), good enough for a No. 2 position behind football.
Overall NBC won the night among viewers (13.5 million), followed by CBS (13.3 million), ABC (9.1 million) and Fox (7.6 million).
On Friday, CBS' premiere of the new Tom Selleck drama, "Blue Bloods," delivered 12.8 million viewers, easily winning its relatively sleepy 10 p.m. slot. However, "CSI: NY" was predictably stricken by the move from Mondays to Fridays: The procedural drew 10.3 million viewers and dived 51% compared with its premiere last season, to a 2.0 rating/7 share. However, it still won its time slot.
— Scott Collins (Twitter: scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher in ABC's "Desperate Houswives." Photo credit: Ron Tom/ABC.