'Simpsons,' 'Amazing Race' Hit Highs

TVWeek's James Hibberd: Rated

By Published on .

On a competitive sweeps Sunday where all the major broadcast networks gave relatively strong performances, two shows spiked in particular: The season premiere of CBS's "Amazing Race" and Fox's annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode of "The Simpsons."

Returning for its 12th installment at a time when most veteran reality shows have shown ratings erosion, "Race" gave its best premiere in more than two years. With a 4.2 preliminary rating among adults 18 to 49, "Race" was up a sharp 35% from its premiere last February and 8% from its premiere last September.

Fox's "Simpsons" hit a 5.7, it's best 8 p.m. performance in nearly four years and up 14% from last year's "Treehouse" episode.

Overall, NBC won the night with "Football Night in America" (3.4), then "Sunday Night Football,"which had the Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (6.0, up 9% over the last Sunday game two weeks ago).

CBS was second with "60 Minutes" (5.0, getting pumped up from NFL overrun), followed by "Race" (4.2, which could shift a bit since it started at 8:25 p.m.). "Cold Case" was up from last week (3.3), followed by "Shark" (2.3, yikes).

ABC was third, which tends to make the network cranky on Monday mornings given its lineup of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (4.7), "Desperate Housewives" (6.9) and "Brothers & Sisters" (4.6), all roughly on par.

Fox was fourth with "Simpsons" (5.7), the 100th episode "Family Guy" special (5.3), followed by the actual episode (5.4, up 38% from its last original airing) and "American Dad" (3.6).

The CW's Sunday night lineup continued to founder. "CW Now" (0.3), "Aliens in America" repeat (0.4), "Life is Wild" (0.4) and "America's Next Top Model" repeat (0.5).
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