On the strength of a the season premiere of Desperate Housewives and new drama Brothers and Sisters, ABC was in the familiar spot of winning Sunday night, reclaiming it from NBC's football game.
ABC averaged a 6.4 rating/16 share on the night thanks to Housewives (9.5/21) and Brothers and Sisters, which won its 10 p.m. time period Sunday night, debuting with a 6.2 rating/15 share, besting football on NBC (5.3/13) and the season premiere of Without a Trace (4.8/12).
Desperate's numbers were about on part with where it left off in May, when its two-hour finale recorded a 9.8 rating/23 share. But it was down significantly from its sophomore season debut last September, when it notched a 12.1/26.
ABC won every half-hour except one, bested not by NBC but a run-ver of Fox's football game at 7-7:30 (5.2/16). ABC's debut of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition grew significantly over its two hours, from a 2.8 against football at 7 to a 7.1 at 8:30, beating the second half of the time period premiere of CBS's Amazing Race and football on NBC.
But despite that performance, the ABC drama did drop significantly from the first to the second half-hour after inheriting a huge lead-in audience from Housewives.
Brothers and Sisters started off with a 6.8/16, whcih dropped to a 5.6/14 by the second half hour.
NBC was second with a 4.6/12 for its blowout game between the New England Patriots and the victorious Denver Broncos.
Fox was third with a 4.4/11 for new episodes of its adult animation lineup, followed by CBS at a distant fourth, getting little production out of Amazing Race, last among the Big Four in its time period at 8-9.