The broadcast networks packed a rate typical Sunday night with season premieres and special episodes. CBS (2.2/6 in adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers, won the night sandwiched between the Grammys and the Oscars, which featured the season openers of CBS’ The Amazing Race and NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and the 500th episode of The Simpsons. CBS’ primetime lineup was scrambled by a 22-minute golf overrun. Amazing Race drew an approximate 2.6/7 in 18-49 and 9.2 million viewers, up 4% and 8%, respectively, from last year’s winter premiere.
NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice (2.6/7, 7.4 million) was down 7% from last season’s opener. ABC’s Once Upon A Time (3.0/8) ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49 but was surprisingly flat with last Sunday, when it faced the monster Grammy Awards. Desperate Housewives (2.2/5) bounced back by 22%, while Pan Am (1.2/3) finished its freshman (and probably series) run on a relatively high note, up 71% from last week. Fox’s The Simpsons‘ 500th episode drew a relatively modest 2.6/7 18-49 rating but was up 30% from last week. It boosted Napoleon Dynamite (2.0/5) to a 11% increase. The rookie still was the weakest link in Fox’s 8-10 PM comedy block, with Family Guy posting a 2.7/7, up 8% from last week, and American Dad (2.2/5) up 22%.