Big “Family Guy,” “Cleveland Show” Ratings Top “Desperate Housewives”

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Big premiere ratings for “Family Guy” and spin-off “The Cleveland Show” gave FOX an impressive Sunday kickoff.

Undoubtedly fueled by Emmy buzz and declining interest in the competition, “Family Guy” opened with a big 5.2 rating in adults 18-49 with 10.2 million viewers. Up sixteen percent from last year’s bow, “Guy” was second only to the Colts vs. Cardinals game on NBC in the demographic (preliminary viewership data says 14.1 million viewers with a 5.6 18-49 rating).

“Family Guy” spin-off “The Cleveland Show” also got off to a good start; it led into “Guy” with 9.4 million viewers and a 4.9 in the demographic. It built off its “The Simpsons” lead-in (8.2 million, 4.2) and performed significantly better than “King of the Hill” did in the timeslot last year.

Though down notably from its “Family Guy” lead-in, “American Dad” (7.1 million, 3.6) made gains from last year’s premiere.

Not all networks returned to good numbers. ABC struggled (relatively) Sunday; “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers & Sisters” all dropped significantly from last year’s numbers. The two “Makeover” airings garnered 7.3 million viewers with a 2.1 rating and 10.5 million viewers with a 3.1 rating, respectively. “Housewives” (13.2 million, 4.5) was down 37% from last year, while “Brothers & Sisters” (9.3 million, 3.0) fell 35%.

CBS was passable as it benefitted from the afternoon NFL lead-in. “60 Minutes” opened with 11.7 million viewers and a 3.3 rating; the two-hour “Amazing Race” premiere followed with 9.2 million viewers and a 3.2 in the demo. “Cold Case” closed the night with 8.4 million viewers and a 1.9 rating, serving as the only CBS show to suffer a notable drop Sunday night (30%).