TV ratings: 'Housewives' return strong but NBC wins Sunday

eva-longoria-gray-320.jpgFast National ratings for Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010

The return of "Desperate Housewives" to ABC delivered some of the show's best overnight ratings this season, but they weren't quite good enough to overtake NBC and "Sunday Night Football."

NBC scored 12.4 million viewers and a 7.5 rating/12 share in households for the night, topping ABC's 11.8 million and 7.0/11. CBS (10.5 million, 6.6/10) came in third, and FOX trailed with 9.1 million viewers and a 5.2/8.

The adults 18-49 title also went to NBC, which drew a 4.6 rating in the demographic. FOX took second at 3.8, just ahead of ABC's 3.7. CBS was off the pace at 2.2.

Sunday hour by hour:

7 p.m.

CBS:
NFL overrun/ "60 Minutes" (14.85 million viewers, 9.1/14 households)
FOX: NFL overrun/"The OT" (12.4 million, 7.2/11)
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (10.2 million, 5.5/9)
NBC: "Football Night in America" (7 million, 4.1/6)

18-49 leader: NFL/"The OT" (4.5)

8 p.m.

NBC:
"Sunday Night Football" - Bengals-Jets (14.4 million, 8.5/13)
CBS: "60 Minutes"/"NCIS" rerun (11.4 million, 7.1/11)
ABC: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (11 million, 6.1/9)
FOX: "The Simpsons" (8.65 million, 4.7/7)/"The Cleveland Show" (7 million, 3.8/6)

18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.3)

9 p.m.

NBC:
"Sunday Night Football" (16.1 million, 9.8/14)
ABC: "Desperate Housewives" (15.2 million, 9.2/14)
CBS: "NCIS" rerun/"Cold Case" rerun (8.6 million, 5.5/8)
FOX: "Family Guy" (8.1 million, 4.6/7)/"American Dad" (5.9 million, 3.5/5)

18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (5.8)

10 p.m.

NBC: "Sunday Night Football" (12.2 million, 7.6/13)
ABC: "Brothers & Sisters" (10.9 million, 7.1/12)
CBS: "Cold Case" rerun (7.15 million, 4.8/8)

18-49 leader: "Sunday Night Football" (4.9)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live telecasts. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable

Photo credit: ABC