Kids Flock to Housewives


ABC's Desperate Housewives is the most popular broadcast-network TV show with kids aged 9-12?

That's according to Nielsen ratings for the week of Dec. 13-19. The sexy ABC adult drama boasted over a million elementary and junior high viewers, according to the latest count.

While the overwhelming favorites among the 9-14 demo are Nickelodeon cable kids shows SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents, Jimmy Neutron, Drake & Josh, and All Grown Up, coming in at number 12 and the only broadcast network show in the top 20, is black comedy Desperate Housewives, a kind of cross between Peyton Place and Picket Fences.

While the show is tops with kids and teenagers, its fan base does not yet extend to the littlest viewers. The 9 p.m. Sunday show did not make it onto the top 20, or even top 30, list of favorites among kids 2-11. With those little nippers, Nickelodeon dominated, boasting 28 of the top 30 shows, the only exceptions being a couple of broadcast Christmas specials (Rudolph and Charlie Brown).

While cable rules with younger viewers, the roles are reversed for adults 18-49, with the broadcast nets dominating that key sales demo.

Desperate Housewives was the top-rated show, broadcast or cable, for the week, averaging a 9.9 rating, or 12.8 million viewers, in the 18-49 demo. The balance of the top 10 were a mix of broadcast network sports, dramas and sitcoms.  The only cable show to crack the top 30 was an NFL football game on ESPN.

Otherwise, the Housewives juggernaut was unstoppable, topping the list for viewers ages 12-17, 12-24, 19-24, and 18-34, as well as among total viewers.