Fast National ratings for Sunday, January 3, 2010.
The exhaustively hyped 2010 return of "Desperate Housewives" drew a big audience on Sunday night, but it was only enough to threaten NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast, not top it.
Among adults 18-49, NBC won the night with a 4.6 rating. FOX's 3.8 rating and the 3.7 rating for ABC were close behind. CBS was a distant fourth wuth a 2.2 rating.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 12.39 million viewers to go with a 7.5 rating/12 share. ABC was a close second with a 7.0/11 and an estimated 11.84 million viewers. CBS' 6/6/10 and the 5.2/8 for FOX followed.
CBS Started the night in first with a 9.1/14 for an NFL-overrun-aided "60 Minutes." FOX's own NFL overrun did a 7.2/11 and won the hour with a 4.5 rating in the key demo. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" had a 5.5/9 for third.  NBC finished fourth with "Football Night in America."
NBC moved from fourth to first in the 8 p.m. hour with an 8.5/13 for the start of the game between the Jets and Bengals, also winning the hour with a 5.3 rating in the key demo. CBS' "NCIS" repeat was second for the hour, beating the 6.1/9 for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on ABC. FOX's new "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" averaged a 4.3/6 overall and finished second for the hour in the 18-49 demo with a 3.6 rating.
What eventually became a rout between New York and Cincinnati kept NBC on top at 9 p.m. with a 9.8/14 overall and a 5.8 rating in the demo. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" had a 9.2/14 for second and also did a strong 5.2 rating in the demo. CBS' "Cold Case" repeat was third, topping the 4.0/6 for "Family Guy" and "American Dad," which also did a 3.4 rating in the demo.
With the game out of hand early, NBC's football slumped to a 7.6/13 in the 10 p.m. hour, still doing a 4.9 rating in the demo. ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" was second with a 7.1/12. CBS' "Cold Case" repeat trailed.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.