ABC dominated Sunday’s prime time on a night marked by heavily promoted TV events on other broadcast networks.
NBC went live with The West Wing and Fox’s Family Guy skewered the FCC, but ABC’s powerful lineup won all four hours of prime time, posting an average 7.6 rating/18 share from 7-11 p.m. among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen fast national ratings.
(Fast national data is based on time period estimates. Results may be adjusted once final ratings are available.)
ABC began the night with a two-part Extreme Makeover that aired from 7-9 p.m. The first installment posted a 4.5/12 from 7-8, topping CBS’ 60 Minutes (3.7/10) and Fox’s Simpsons rerun (3.6/10) and a new King of the Hill (3.6/9).
The second installment of Makeover (7.3/17), which aired from 8-9 p.m., swamped NBC’s live telecast of a debate between characters on The West Wing. NBC pulled in a 2.7/6 for the heavily promoted event, only a three-tenths gain from last week’s episode. Fox’s new episode of The Simpsons (5.6/13) from 8-8:30 and CBS’ Cold Case (4.2/9) fared far better against Makeover.
Desperate Housewives lit up the 9 p.m. hour, after ABC ran a repeat of the show last night. It pulled in a10.3/22 from 9-10, doubling the performance of its closest competitor, the CBS movie Category 7: The End of the World. (Though the world did not end, in fact, but the disaster flick improved on last week’s 2.4-rated CBS Sunday Movie, Vampire Bats.)
Family Guy scored a 4.4/9 from 9-9:30, followed by American Dad at (3.7/8) at 9:30-10. The WB’s only fresh program, Charmed, aired from 9-10 and grabbed a 1.5/3.
At 10-11, Grey’s Anatomy (8.5/20) saw a week-to-week improvement from last week’s episode (7.6), thanks to a lead-in from a new Housewives. Grey topped the last hours of CBS’ Category 7 and NBC’s two-hour Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which pulled in a 4.0/9 from 9-11 pm.
Overall, CBS finished second behind ABC, averaging 4.5/11 in prime time. Fox was third at 4.1/10; NBC was fourth (3.3/8); and the WB finished last at 1.0/2. UPN does not program Sunday evenings.