‘Good Wife’ Winning Sunday Battle with ABC’s ‘Housewives’

by | October 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Ratings, TV News

Julianna Margulies (left) in "The Good Wife"; Vanessa Williams in "Desperate Housewives" (Photos: CBS and ABC)

Who’s winning the Sunday night battle of the spouses? It’s “The Good Wife” by about a million viewers.

It’s not exactly the battle of the century, but with NBC emerging (again) as the dominant network on Sunday nights thanks to NFL football, CBS and ABC are fighting for the remainder of the Sunday night audience.

And in the heart of the evening at 9 p.m./8c, “The Good Wife” on CBS is battling “Desperate Housewives” on ABC. The result? Julianna Margulies is on top.

It’s a new night and time for the soapy, sexy “Good Wife,” but a long-standing night and time for “Housewives,” which is now in the final season of its long, storied run.

Here’s how the two spousal series stack up:

Just this past Sunday (Oct. 9), “The Good Wife” drew 9.598 million viewers, while “Housewives” had 8.457 million, according to Nielsen overnights issued Monday morning. By the way, that “Housewives” audience tally was reported to be the lowest in the show’s history.

Sunday a week ago, “The Good Wife” had 11.08 million in the Nielsen nationals (the ratings that come out a few hours after the overnights and give a fuller picture of TV audiences), while “Housewives” had 9.16 million.

On Night One of their competition on Sept. 25, “The Good Wife” attracted 10.66 million viewers, according to the nationals. “Desperate Housewives” had 9.93 million.

By contrast, NBC’s NFL game this past Sunday averaged 19.477 million between 8:30/7:30c and 11/10c. While viewers of both genders are known to enjoy both of the “Wives” shows and football, it is assumed that more men flock to football than “The Good Wife” and “Desperate Housewives.” That means the CBS and ABC shows are really competing for the non-football female viewer. And “The Good Wife” is winning.

One reason could be the strength of CBS’s Sunday night lineup – starting with “60 Minutes,” then “The Amazing Race,” “The Good Wife” and ending the evening with “CSI: Miami.” So far in the new season, the CBS slate is performing better than ABC’s – “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and the new “Pan Am” at 10/9c.

In fact, “Pan Am,” saw its viewership lose altitude for the third consecutive week this past Sunday – landing at 7.208 million in the overnights.

Watch this week’s episode of “The Good Wife” right here:





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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ ‘Parenthood’ ‘The Good Wife’ ‘Desperate Housewives’