Fox Sports Wins Sunday; 'Laughlin' Falls

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

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Sports coverage gave Fox a rare Sunday night victory. In the preliminary Nielsens, Fox won the night by a wide margin due to NFL overrun (7.9 rating among adults 18 to 49), some post and pre-game coverage (5.2 and 5.5) and its presentation of Game 7 of the ALCS playoffs (6.5). Fox also led in total viewers.

That left usual Sunday winner ABC in second, holding steady against the sports competition with "America's Funniest Home Videos" (on par 2.6), "Extreme Makeover" (up 13 percent to a 5.0), "Desperate Housewives" (down slightly to 7.1) and "Brothers and Sisters" (up a tick to a 4.8).

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" coverage of Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (4.8) put the network in third place.

CBS was fourth with the second episode of "Viva Laughlin" (1.2) making its time period debut and dropping a precarious 47 percent from its Thursday premiere.

"Jericho" fans have been pining for the completed second season of the cult favorite to take the "Laughlin" slot. With the possibility of a writer's strike heating up, the network is contemplating saving the scripted show until spring in favor of running "Amazing Race" or "Power of 10." The X-factor in the equation is Tuesday night's "Cane," which has been on the ratings bubble in recent weeks.

CBS also had "60 Minutes" (2.2), "Cold Case" (down 23 percent to a 2.6) and "Shark" (down slightly to a 2.4).

Without its freshly cancelled "Online Nation" lead-in, The CW's "CW Now" doubled its number from last week (0.4), then led into a "Aliens In America" repeat (0.5). At 8 p.m., "Life Is Wild" had its best number yet, up 66 percent (0.5).

UPDATE: CBS has canceled "Viva Laughlin" after two episodes and is putting "The Amazing Race" in its slot.