ABC: Winning Yet Down With 'Desperate Housewives'

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In what's becoming a trend this season, a network conquered a heavily contested night in the ratings while sustaining heavy casualties.

ABC had the three highest-rated non-sports shows Sunday night in the 18-49 demographic, with the season premieres of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (4.7), "Desperate Housewives" (7.4) and "Brothers & Sisters" (5.1). But each fell compared to last season's premieres, with "Extreme" down 26 percent, "Desperate" off 27 percent and "Brothers" down 15 percent, based on preliminary Nielsen numbers.

ABC won the night in the demo and in total viewers, and "Desperate" topped NBC's second-place presentation of "Sunday Night Football," featuring the Philadelphia Eagles at the New York Giants (a very preliminary 5.6, down from last week's 7.8).

CBS and Fox are tied for third place, with CBS presenting "60 Minutes" (2.8), "Cold Case" (3.4) and "Shark" (2.7). Despite the increased competition from ABC's premieres, all of the CBS shows grew from last week's numbers, which had likely taken a knock due to the premiere of PBS' "The War" and stronger NBC football returns.

Conversely, Fox's comedy lineup fell from last week, when the network aired its "Family Guy" "Star Wars" special. Shows include "The Simpsons" (4.2), "King of the Hill" (3.5), "Family Guy" (4.2) and "American Dad" (3.1).

The CW's "CW Now" (0.3) and "Online Nation" (0.3) continue to founder, followed by repeats.
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