Ratings: Despite Dwindling Housewives, ABC's Pan Am Has Solid Take-Off

ABC’s Pan Am flew some very friendly skies in its Sunday night premiere, this despite leading out of Desperate Housewives‘ lowest-rated season opener ever.

The ladies of Wisteria Lane at 9 pm drew 9.8 million total viewers and a 3.1 demo rating, plunging 24 and 28 percent, respectively, from the show’s year-ago premiere. Pan Am however built on that audience, checking in 10.9 million viewers while scoring a 3.1 rating. What’s more, those tallies represent increases of 13 and 7 percent over what Brothers & Sisters did in the time slot a year ago.

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While NBC’s Sunday Night Football of course dominated the evening with an average of 17.8 million viewers and 7.2 rating, the premieres of Fox’s The Simpsons (7.9 mil/3.8) and Family Guy (7.6 mil/4.1) came away with the two best 18-49 ratings of any scripted Sunday shows. As for the rest of Fox’s Animation Domination line-up, The Cleveland Show (6 mil/3.1) and American Dad (5.7 mil/3.0) were both flat versus prior premieres.

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Lastly, the numbers for CBS are subject to change since their slate was delayed by football in 10 percent of the markets. But as it stands now, The Amazing Race (10.5 million viewers, 2.9 rating) dropped 5 and 22 percent; The Good Wife (10.5 mil/2.2) was down double digits from its Season 2 (Tuesday opener), placing fourth in the demo; and CSI: Miami (10 mil/2.2) plunged 16 and 31 percent. “That decrease,” says Horatio, whipping off his sunglasses, “is killer.”