There was more disheartening news for broadcasters Sunday with another night of season premieres returning lower than last year.
Yet the evening's biggest scripted debuts -- ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" -- managed to contain their ratings erosion to single-digit declines, drops that broadcasters nowadays consider acceptable, if not a relief.
NBC won the night with "Sunday Night Football," Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (15.4 million viewers, 6.3 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 15 share, according to Nielsen), complete with 90-minutes of pregame warm-up.
At 9 p.m., "Housewives" (18.4 million, 7.0/16, down 7%) was the night's highest-rated and most-watched show and, along with last week's premiere of "Grey's," marks the biggest scripted-series number we've seen this fall. At 10 p.m., ABC aired the return of "Brothers & Sisters" (12.4 million, 4.7/12, down 6%). Still, that's the lowest-rated premieres yet for both ABC dramas.
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