"Housewives"' whips up ratings storm for ABC

Wed Dec 5, 2007 4:44am EST
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Led by a tornado-whipped "Desperate Housewives," as well as the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" and holiday newcomer "Shrek the Halls," ABC won last week's primetime ratings race.

The epic dance-off between race-car driver Helio Castroneves and singer Marie Osmond boosted ABC's fortunes Monday and Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research data issued Tuesday.

On Monday (November 26), "Dancing with the Stars" (24.2 million, 6.0 rating/15 share in adults 18-49) gave ABC a big lead early in the night. But its fortunes declined following the new sitcom "Samantha Who?" (11.7 million, 3.7/8), and CBS eked out a win in adults 18-49 on the heels of "Two and a Half Men" (15.3 million, 5.0/11) and "CSI: Miami" (15.6 million, 4.6/12). Meanwhile, NBC's "Heroes" (11.9 million, 5.3/12) improved week-to-week as did "Chuck" (8.4 million, 3.3/8).

Tuesday belonged to ABC, thanks to the two-hour finale of "Dancing with the Stars" (24.9 million, 6.5/15), which wasn't the highest-rated "Dancing" by any stretch but still got the job done. Fox came in a strong second with "House" (17 million, 7.0/16).

ABC made it two nights in a row Wednesday with a strong 8 p.m. hour led by the premiere of "Shrek the Halls" (20.8 million, 7.1/19) and the perennial "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (18.5 million, 6.8/17). It also boosted "Pushing Daisies" (10 million, 3.7/9), although nowhere near enough to beat "Criminal Minds" (16.2 million, 4.5/11). Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" (7 million, 3.3/8) set a new ratings record for the show.

With heavyweights "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI" in reruns, CBS's "Survivor: China" (13.6 million, 4.5/12) led the way Thursday, while "ER" (8.7 million, 3.4/9) won at 10 p.m. against a repeat "Without a Trace" (9.8 million, 2.5/6). Friday went to ABC with the movie "The Polar Express" (9.3 million, 3.1/9), which easily beat CBS's "My Night at the Grammys" (6.1 million, 1.7/5) as well as an NBC's lineup that included "Deal or No Deal" (10.5 million, 2.4/8) and "Friday Night Lights" (5.5 million, 1.7/5).

Sunday's "Desperate Housewives" (20.6 million, 7.8/17) got the best ratings in a year with its tornado storyline. NBC didn't have as much luck with the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati "Sunday Night Football" matchup (14.4 million, 5.7/13) as it did with last week's Patriots-Eagles game. Fox got a huge number at the beginning of the night with 22.1 million viewers for an hourlong NFL runover, which gave its telecast of the BCS selection show (11.2 million, 4.3/11) a kick.

ABC (12.4 million, 4.0/10) won both key measures in primetime ahead of CBS (10.5 million, 2.7/7); NBC (8.2 million, 3.0/8); Fox (8.3 million, 3.1/8); and The CW (2.6 million, 1.1/3).

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Emmy-nominated actress Felicity Huffman, from "Desperate Housewives" arrives at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>