Primetime Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops Ratings Race

ABC hangs tough with season highs

NBC is poised to claim another Sunday primetime ratings victory with its big "Sunday Night Football" matchup between Indianapolis and New England, but ABC held up well as its core shows, including "Desperate Housewives," came in above average.

Reliable preliminary nationals for "Sunday Night Football" weren't available early Monday, but the Indianapolis Colts' 35-34 comeback victory averaged a 7.5 rating/18 share in adults 18-49 and 19.9 million viewers overall on the NBC affiliates from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with national estimates expected to rise by about 15%. This would put the game's delivery at roughly the same, if not slightly higher, than the previous week's Dallas-Philadelphia matchup (8.5/22 in 18-49, 21.9 million viewers overall), which was the highest-rated football game of the television season.

Elsewhere, ABC held up very well, delivering its highest Sunday averages of the season. "America's Funniest Home Videos" (2.2/6 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) opened with its second best scores of the fall, and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" then hit season highs at 8 p.m. (3.6/9 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall). That stronger lead-in also helped "Desperate Housewives" (4.9/12 in 18-49, 14.4 million viewers overall), which logged its best ratings in a while, and "Brothers & Sisters" (3.2/8 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) was on the high side as well.

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