Fox Wins Sunday, ABC Sees Uptick In 'Brothers'

ABC must have some great mind readers analyzing its prime-time programming. A few days after giving "Brothers & Sisters" a full season order, the program showed its first rating improvement of the season--albeit a small one. But it wasn't enough to win Sunday night. Fox's World Series game finally broke out of its playoff doldrums by hitting a World Series size 5.8 rating/14 share--up 6% over last year's second game numbers--helping the network to win the night with a 5.4/14.

As for the rest of the nets: ABC registered a 5.2/14, and CBS was a distant third at a 3.7/9. NBC was next with a 2.1/5, followed by Univision at 1.0/3, and the CW at 0.9/2.

Still, ABC's changes on "Brothers" seem to have worked. "Brothers" edged up one-tenth of a rating point among adults 18-49 viewers to a 5.0 from the week before--against tough World Series competition. "Brothers" started at a high 6.2 in its debut, and has been drifting lower over the last several weeks.

"That show had more surgery than what happens on "Grey's Anatomy," says Shari Anne Brill, vice president and director of programming services for Carat North America. "Three actors were replaced; and its show runner was replaced. The show is a little bit lighter now, and works better with 'Housewives.' The show was too dark and dreary."



ABC's "Desperate Housewives" also had to deal with the World Series, and offered up an 8.0--a repeat of its lowest rating of the season so far, equaling the same number as a week ago. Yet it easily won its time period.

Instead of NFL football, NBC wanted viewers to get caught up on "Heroes," which is re-running three of its early shows. The network earned ratings of 2.3, 2.5 and a 2.5, respectively, for the rerun. This took it out of the running of its typical Sunday, second-place over the past several weeks.

CBS came in third, competitive throughout the night. "Cold Case" did a 4.3/10 in 18-49 viewers, and "Without a Trace," a 4.3/11 in 18-49.

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