NBC's telecast of the Miss Universe Pageant improved with every pulchritudinous hour, but viewers didn't come in fast enough to snag Sunday night ratings wins from FOX and CBS.
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 1.8 rating, narrowly between the 1.5 ratings for CBS and NBC. ABC's 1.4 rating was a close fourth in the key demographic, leaving The CW in fifth with a 0.5 rating.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 5.88 million viewers to go with a 3.7 rating/7 share. ABC was a close second overall with a 3.4/6. NBC's 2.9/5 was enough for third, topping the 2.2/4 for FOX. The CW's 0.8/1 trailed.
CBS started the night in first with a 4.9/10 for "60 Minutes." ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" was second with a 3.8/8 and won the hour in the 18-49 demo. NBC's "Merlin" had a 1.9/4 for third, better than FOX's "Til Death" and "American Dad." The CW trailed.
ABC moved into first at 8 p.m. with a 4.6/8 for "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." CBS' "Big Brother" was a close second with a 4.3/8 and won the hour in the key demo. FOX's two episodes of "The Simpsons" finished third, just in front of the 2.3/4 for NBC's "Merlin" finale. The CW's airing of "Silence of the Lambs" had a 0.7/1 for fifth.
The start of NBC's Miss Universe Pageant had a 3.5/6, just ahead of the 3.4/6 for ABC's "Shark Tank." FOX's "Family Guy" and "American Dad" won the hour in the 18-49 demo and did a 2.7/4 overall, leaving CBS' "There Goes the Neighborhood" in fourth with a 2.3/4. The CW's movie was fifth.
Miss Universe had a 4.1/7 to win the 10 p.m. hour for NBC, winning the 18-49 demo as well. CBS' "Cold Case" finished second, better than ABC's 1.8/3 for "Defying Gravity."
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.