Obama, NCAA Score For CBS

NCAA-March MadnessWith the big tag team of NCAA basketball tournament programming and an interview with President Obama on "60 Minutes," CBS did what it was supposed to: it won Sunday night.

Still, it was close. CBS squeaked by ABC for the evening with a Nielsen preliminary 3.5 rating/9 share among 18-49 viewers to ABC's 3.4/9. Most of CBS' gains came in the early part of the evening.

In the first prime-time hour--7 p.m. to 8 p.m.--the conclusion of two closely fought NCAA tournament games yielded a 4.4/14, more than doubling the second-place competitor, ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos," which grabbed a 1.8/6.

Then at 8 p.m., CBS' "60 Minutes" with the Obama interview kept up the pace with a stellar 4.3/12--well above its season's average.

ABC took over in the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. time periods. "Desperate Housewives" earned a leading 4.9/12--although it was down a bit from a week before, at 9 p.m. Then "Brothers & Sisters" won the 10 p.m. hour with a 3.5/9, just around its season's average.

NBC had a rough time with its new show "Kings," but regained some ground with "Celebrity Apprentice." "Kings," its new troubled rookie show, dropped four-tenths of one rating point from its premiere to a 1.3 rating/3 share for its second episode.

Now back to its usual two-hour episode, "Apprentice" rose to a 2.9/7 (and to a 3.3/9 in its last hour). A week ago with its special one-hour episode, it earned a 2.8/7. Overall, for the night, this gave NBC a 2.1/6 versus its 1.8/5 last Sunday.

Fox was ahead of NBC with a 2.4/6--despite running half of its Sunday night schedule in reruns. Moreover, it led all networks among 18-34 viewers with a 2.7/8--with "Family Guy" grabbing a 4.5/12, the best-performing show among 18-34 viewers.

CW ran "Jericho" repeats and "The Mod Squad" movie, which got it to a 0.3/1 among 18-49 viewers and a lower 0.2/1 among its core 18-34 audience. Univision was better than CW by more than four times in each area. Univision had a 1.2/3 in 18-49 viewers and a 1.2/4 in 18-34 viewers.

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