ABC won Sunday night in the Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings with an average 5.3 rating/13 share in the key 18-49 demo, even without Desperate Housewives and thanks to an extremely strong performance from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Generally speaking, reality shows with "reveals" at the end build in their last half hour as viewers tune in to check out the unveiling, but Makeover demonstrated an extreme build, with the two-hour show growing steadily from a 3.4/10 at 7:730, to a whopping 8.3/19 in its final half hour at 8:30-9. It dominated at 7-9 with a 5.8/15.
Extreme Makeover delivered a big enough audience to new show, Jake, for that show, too, to get some of the sampling ABC was looking for and win its time period--normally the Housewives slot at 9-10. But it was moving in the other direction.
Jake started off the first half-hour with a 5.8/13 against NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent's 5.1/12. The second half hour was reversed, with L&O building to a 5.6/13 and Jake dropping to a 5.1/12, still good enough to win the hour with a 5.5/12 to L&O's 5.4/12.
NBC was second for the night with a 3.7/9, one the strength of L&O and a time-period-winning outing from Crossing Jordan at 10 (4.5/11).
Fox was third with a 2.9/7. Its top show was a repeat of the Simpsons at 8:30, which generated a 4.0/10 for second place at 8-8:30. Hitting for the average were a new Arrested Development and an other Simpsons repeat, both of which got a 2.9/7.
CBS was fourth with a 2.5./6. Its best performer was Cold Case (3.6/9), but its average was dragged down by a made-for, Saving Milly, about the death of journalist Morton Kondracke's wife.
The WB was fifth with a 1.1/3 for repeats for Charmed and Steve Harvey's Big Time.