ABC moved Grey's Anatomy into the Sunday 10 p.m. slot last fall hoping it could get a jumpstart from Desperate Housewives's powerhouse lead-in.
It did, and the show became the "two punch" in a powerhouse Sunday lineup.
Then, last week, ABC gave Grey's the best lead-in in the business: the Super Bowl.
Last night, Grey's second half of a two-part "bombshell" episode (literally), paid big dividends, actually outdrawing Housewives with a huge 11.2 rating/25 share in the Nielsen overnight ratings compared to a 9.9/20 for Housewives at 9. ABC says it was the highest rating/share in the 10 p.m. Sunday night time period with regular programming since at least 1988.
ABC won the night with a 7.7/18, beating NBC's Olympics coverage, which averaged a 7.7/18 for a night that saw the U.S. win a couple of medals, but also saw two of the highly promoted U.S. Stars Apollo Anton Ohno (short-track skating) and Bode Miller (skiing) fail to make the medal stand in marquee events, and a third, injured ice skater Michelle Kwan, drop out of the competition. NBC averaged a 7.2/16 on the night.
ABC pointed out that it was the first time a competitor beat the Winter Olympics coverage in the 18-49 demo on a Sunday night of competition since 1994.
Fox was a distant third with a 2.6/6 for an all-repeat lineup except for Malcolm at 8 p.m.
CBS was fourth with a 2/5. It's top show was a prepeat of Cold Case at 8 (2.3/5).
Univision was sixth with a 2.3/5, followed by The WB at a 1.1/2. UPN does not program Sunday nights.