10/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

TV Ratings: Slide Continues, "Desperate Housewives" Wins With Its Lowest Season Premiere To Date

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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