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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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NBC Leads the Way With Sunday Football

November 10, 2008 12:45 PM

Sports scored the top ratings Sunday night, while the death of a major character on Friday’s “Ghost Whisperer” lifted the episode to tie its highest ratings in nearly a year.

Ghost Whisperer

Live programming means ratings for CBS, NBC and the 7 p.m. half-hour on ABC are approximate. NBC captured the night with “Sunday Night Football” featuring the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, which gathered a 6.0 rating/14 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research.

Last night’s game gained 18% in preliminary ratings over last week’s New England Patriots/Indianapolis Colts matchup, which moved up to a 6.2/15 when final data was released.

NBC drew a 4.9/12 for the night.

CBS and ABC tied for second with a 3.8/9. CBS had NFL overrun (7.3/20, 24.2 million) to boost it, bumping up the rest of the night over last week, including “60 Minutes” (4.2/11, 17.7 million) and “The Amazing Race” (3.3/8, 11.7 million). CBS was the most-watched network of the night with 14.6 million viewers.

ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” (5.9/13) and “Brothers & Sisters” (3.7/9) were average, while “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.9/5) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (3.5/8) declined 10% from last week. The night also included NASCAR overrun (2.2/6) at 7 p.m.

After a big high last week from “The Simpsons’” “Treehouse of Horror” special, Fox’s entire animation block slipped back to average numbers, with “Family Guy” (4.3/10, down 16% from last week) and “The Simpsons” (3.9/10, down 37%) leading the night.

Fox scored a 3.2/8 for the night.

The CW skimmed along with its lineup, taking in a 0.2/0, tying last week’s all-repeat lineup, despite Sunday’s episodes being brand-new.

On Friday, “Ghost Whisperer” killed off a major character during Friday’s episode, drawing a 2.8/9 and 11.1 million viewers, improving 27% in the demo week-to-week. The episode’s shocking twist also gained some powerful enemies, as my mother angrily called me from the East Coast to ask why “Whisperer” took this turn.

I told her I assumed it was to increase the amount of ghost whispering per episode.

“Numb3rs” (2.6/8) also increased 13% week-to-week, giving CBS an easy victory with an average 2.6/8.

ABC placed second with a 1.9/6, followed by Fox with a 1.6/5, NBC with a 1.1/3 and The CW with a 0.7/2.

College football led the way Saturday, with ABC’s 2.5/8 winning the night. Fox took second with a 2.0/6, followed by a third-place tie between CBS (1.5/4) and NBC (1.5/5).

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