Ratings: Once Upon a Time Enchants 12.8 Million Viewers, Tops All Non-Sports Programming

Bippity Boppity Boo! ABC’s Once Upon a Time worked its magic on Nielsen households, premiering to 12.8 million total viewers while scoring a robust 3.9 demo rating. That translates into Sunday night’s most-watched and highest-rated non-sports programming, opposite NBC football and Fox’s World Series Game 4 coverage.

Once‘s tallies represent almost double what Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last did in the Sundays-at-8 slot. In fact, it’s ABC’s biggest audience in the time period with regular programming since March 2008 and its best 18-49 performance there in three years.

Reader Poll: Did Once Upon a Time Works Its Magic On You?

Even factoring in Sunday Night Football and the World Series, Once was Sunday’s second-most watched of all programs, and it matched baseball for the No. 2 ranking in demo delivery. Once stands as this TV season’s highest-rated drama debut, joining ABC’s Revenge in the Top 2.

Elsewhere on Sunday night:

* Sunday Night Football‘s presentation of a record-setting blowout waned every half hour to average 11.24 million total viewers and a 4.6 rating, plunging 30 percent week-to-week. The World Series Game 4 (13.5 mil/3.9) was up 17 and 23 percent from Game 3.

* Opposite sports and Once, The Amazing Race (9.9 mil/2.7) held steady and even drew a few extra eyeballs.

* In the 9 o’clock hour, a highly entertaining episode of The Good Wife (9.6 mil/2.0) dipped 5 percent. Desperate Housewives (9.22 mil/3.1) used its shiny new lead-in to notch gains of 11 and 7 percent.

* CSI: Miami (9.8 mil/2.1) was down about 10 percent. ABC’s fluctuating Pan Am enjoyed the last sprinkling of Once pixie dust, holding steady at 5.8 mil and a fourth-place 1.8 rating.

What were you watching on Sunday night?