via ABC press release:
Sunday Night (7:00-11:00 p.m.)
Qualifying as Sunday's No. 1 network in Adults 18-49 for the 5th week a row, ABC (3.5/9) beat its network competition on the night by wide margins, defeating No. 2 CBS by 30% (2.7/7), No. 3 Fox by 59% (2.2/6) and No. 4 NBC by 94% (1.8/5) with its high-profile and well-promoted series debut of "Kings."
- All 4 of ABC's Sunday series were up over the previous Sunday among young adults. The Net also posted solid increases over the same Sunday last year (3/16/08), growing by 1.5 million viewers (10.5 million vs. 9.0 million) and 9% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/9 vs. 3.2/9).
- "Desperate Housewives" stood as Sunday's No. 1 TV show in both Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. "Housewives" logged its 16th time in 17 original telecasts this season to stand as the evening's top entertainment series with viewers and young adults. In fact with "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters," respectively, ABC claimed Sunday's Top 2 highest-rated programs in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic.
"America's Funniest Home Videos" (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" earned second place during the 7 o'clock hour in Total Viewers (7.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.1/7), while taking the No. 1 position in the hour for the 2nd week in a row among Adults 18-34 (1.5/6).
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
Building on its lead-in at 8:00 p.m., ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" ranked No. 1 in its hour among Adults 18-49 (3.0/8-tie). Surging 22% from start to finish with young adults, the ABC unscripted series outpaced CBS' "Amazing Race XIV" by 6% in the 8:30pm half hour (3.3/9 vs. 3.1/8). "Home Edition" took top honors in its slot with Women 18-49 (3.7/10) for its 4th consecutive airing.
"Desperate Housewives" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Sunday's No. 1 TV program, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" dominated the 9 o'clock hour, topping its closest competition by 1.5 million viewers (14.4 million vs. 12.9 million - CBS' "Cold Case") and by 56% in Adults 18-49 (5.0/12 vs. 3.2/8 - Fox's "Family Guy"/"American Dad"). "Housewives" nearly tripled the second hour of NBC's highly-promoted 2-hour series debut of "Kings (5.6 million & 1.7/5).
- "Housewives" produced its biggest audience since the beginning of December and its top young adult number since early January - since 12/7/08 and 1/11/09, respectively.
"Brothers & Sisters" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Delivering best-ever lead-in retention (2nd week in a row) of an original "Desperate Housewives," ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" won its time period for the 3rd straight week among Adults 18-49. During the 10 o'clock hour, ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (3.7/9) defeated NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" by 37% (2.7/7) and CBS' "The Unit" by 37% (2.7/7).
- Exhibiting continued momentum after its 2-hour broadcast at the beginning of March (on 3/1/09), "Brothers & Sisters" was up week to week and generated its best 10 o'clock airing in the past 3 months among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 - since 12/7/08.
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 30% currently, from 23% at the same point in 2008. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.
Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings), 3/15/09.