ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ Starts Strong, Fox Wins Night

by | October 24, 2011 at 1:50 PM | CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, Once Upon a Time, Pan Am, The Good Wife

By Tim Kenneally

LOS ANGELES ( – ABC’s new fairytale drama “Once Upon a Time” got off to a strong start Sunday night, scoring the top ratings of any drama debut this fall, while Fox won the night overall thanks to the NFL and the World Series, according to preliminary numbers.

Competing against both the World Series and “Sunday Night Football,” “Once Upon a Time” on ABC at 8 p.m. posted a 3.9 rating/10 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, with 12.8 million total viewers. “Desperate Housewives” the following hour climbed 11 percent, scoring a 3.0/7 in the demographic with 9.2 million total viewers. “Pan Am” at 10 remained flat and tied with last week’s series low, getting a 1.8/5 and 5.7 million total viewers. The network started the night with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” at 7, which drew a 1.5/4 in the demo and 6.6 million total viewers.

While final numbers for Game 4 of the World Series are still inconclusive, Fox took an overall win for the night, along with the evening’s top rating slot with overrun from the NFL at 7, which drew a 7.4/21 and 21.8 million total viewers. Combined with “The OT” at 7:30, which received a 4.3/12 and 13.4 million total viewers, and Game 4 of the World Series from 8 to 11, which registered a 4.0/10 and 13.6 million total viewers in preliminary numbers, Fox averaged a 4.4/11 and 14.6 million total viewers.

Watch the Series Premiere of “Once Upon a Time:”

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” from 8:30 to 11 slipped 19 percent from last week to a 4.6/11 and 11.2 million total viewers. Those numbers are preliminary and are likely to change significantly due to the nature of live sports. The game was preceded by “Football Night in America” at 7, which drew a 1.5/4 and 4.2 million total viewers, followed by another episode at 7:30 which received a 2.5/7 and 6.3 million total viewers, and a final episode at 8, which received a 3.7/9 and 9.7 million total viewers.

Meanwhile, CBS started its night with a huge boost for “60 Minutes” at 7, which surged 47 percent from last week to a 2.7 and 12.6 million total viewers, thanks to an interview with Walter Isaacson, the biographer of recently deceased Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. That was the end of the good news for the network, however. “The Amazing Race” ran flat with last week, taking a 2.7/7 and 9.9 million total viewers, while “The Good Wife” dipped 5 percent for a 2.0/5 and 9.6 million total viewers. “CSI: Miami” ended the night at 10, dropping 13 percent for a 2.1/5 and 9.7 million total viewers.

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