As Six Feet Under met its maker on HBO in a 75-minute series finale, the broadcast networks kept the race tight in Sunday prime time, according to Nielsen fast national ratings for Aug. 21.
ABC notched the victory thanks to reliable Sunday night performer Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The two hour block notched a 2.6/9 in the 18-49 demo starting at 7 p.m.
(Fast national ratings are time-period estimates based on top markets. They are subject to change after final results are tallied.)
ABC’s other programs—a fresh episode of reality show My Kind of Town (2.2/6) and a Desperate Housewives repeat (2.4/6) at 10—helped the network win the night with an average 2.4/7.
Fox’s evening of reruns was close behind, averaging a 2.2/7. Malcolm in the Middle posted a 1.1/4 at 7 and King of the Hill did a 1.4/5 at 7:30.
An hourlong block of Fox’s Family Guy at 8:30 was the best performer among all networks, with a 2.8/8. American Dad posted a 2.4/6 at 9:30.
NBC was in third place at a 2.0/6. The network kicked off the night at 7 p.m. with a two-hour Dateline (1.5/5), followed by Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2.6/6) at 9 and Crossing Jordan (2.3/6). CBS found itself in fourth place with a 60 Minutes that mustered a 1.8/6 at 7, Cold Case (2.0/6) at 8 p.m., and a repeat of mini series Living With the Dead, which posted a 2.0/5 at 9-11 p.m.
The WB finished last with Charmed at 7 (.5/2), followed by O, the modernization of Shakespeare’s Othello, which averaged a .6/2. UPN does not air programming on Sunday night.