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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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‘Desperate’ Does It Again; ‘Survivor’ Has Strong Finish

May 18, 2009 12:31 PM

ABC claimed its fifth consecutive Sunday win with the season finale of “Desperate Housewives,” while CBS came in a close second with the finale of “Survivor: Tocantins” and the reunion special.

Desperate Housewives

The two-hour season finale of “Desperate Housewives” on ABC averaged a 4.7 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 and 13.9 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. For its 9-11 p.m. run, the show scored a 15% increase over its last original telecast, placing as the No. 1 program of the night in the demo and among total viewers. “Housewives” has finished as the top show for 22 out of its 23 original Sunday night telecasts this season in both the demo and total viewers. Last night’s finale, however, was down 24% from last year’s season finale and down 13% from its season-to-date average. Back-to-back season finale episodes of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” averaged a 2.4/7 (7.6 million).

CBS’ season finale of “Survivor: Tocantins” (4.2/11, 12.7 million) posted an 11% increase from its most recent original Thursday telecast to rank as the No. 2 show of the night. Last night’s finale was the lowest-rated in the series’ history, coming in 5% lower than last year’s finale of “Survivor: Gabon.” At 10 p.m., the “Tocantins Reunion” special (4.1/10, 11.8 million) maintained 98% of its lead-in. While the reunion placed as the No. 3 show of the night, it also posted an 8% increase over the year-ago “Gabon” reunion special to mark the highest-rated reunion since “Survivor: China” in December 2007. The network aired an episode of “60 Minutes” at 7 p.m.

Fox’s animated comedies aired their season finales to score some increases over last week and perform in line with recent episodes. “The Simpsons” (2.9/8, 5.9 million) and “King of the Hill” (2.6/7, 5.2 million), increased 16% and 37%, respectively, over their performances last week. In the 9 p.m. hour, “Family Guy” (3.7/9, 7.3 million) and “American Dad” (2.8/7, 5.6 million) posted similar gains, up 16% and 17%, respectively. At 7 p.m., a repeat of “King of the Hill” (1.1/4, 2.5 million) improved on “Sit Down, Shut Up’s” performance in the timeslot last week by 57%, giving a repeat of “American Dad” (1.4/4, 2.8 million) at 7:30 p.m. a 40% bump over the show’s time-period performance last week.

NBC aired a two-hour edition of “Dateline” (1.2/4, 5.8 million), followed by the two-hour special “Saturday Night Live: Just Shorts” (1.5/4, 3.8 million), which dipped more than 50% below “The Celebrity Apprentice’s” season average mostly in the time period.

The CW kicked off with “Jericho” at 6:30 p.m., followed by the film “License to Kill” from 7:30-10 p.m.

For the night: ABC (3.6/10, 10.8 million) narrowly beat CBS (3.5/10, 11.8 million), followed by Fox (2.4/7, 4.9 million), NBC (1.3/4, 4.8 million) and The CW (0.3/1, 1.3 million).

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