'Desperate Housewives' Death Draws No Crowd

'Desperate Housewives' star Nicollette Sheridan at the Emmys 'Desperate Housewives' star Nicollette Sheridan at the Emmys

The death of Edie Britt didn’t draw much of a crowd to ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

Sunday’s episode of the comic soap, where Nicollette Sheridan’s memorable character was killed off via electrocution when her car hit a power pole, was seen by 13.9 million people on Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That’s good for a Top 10 showing, but smaller than the 15.2 million original episodes have averaged this season. “Desperate Housewives” has been off the air with original episodes for a month, and ABC says the serial often takes awhile to build up steam when it returns.

ABC has debuted an unusual amount of new programs in recent weeks, almost like a fall season, with similarly mixed results. The new product is partly a reflection of last year’s Hollywood writers strike, which delayed production of many series, and partly a test-drive of new shows that might make the fall schedule.

Of the new shows, the Bob Saget comedy “Surviving Suburbia” seems the best bet to return. It had a bigger audience than anything on ABC except for “Desperate Housewives” and “Dancing With the Stars” last week.

The quirky cop drama “The Unusuals” and the remake “Cupid” had virtually the same sized audience — just over 6 million — but ABC executives are said to be much higher on “The Unusuals.”

The drama “Castle” did better, but is on the bubble. ABC has already pulled the comedy “In the Motherhood” off the air and, since its audience was roughly the same last week, “Better Off Ted” may be better off dead.

CBS won the week with an average of 9.9 million viewers (6.3 rating, 11 share). Fox had 9.3 million viewers (5.5, 9), but easily won among its prized 18-to-49-year-old audience. ABC had 7.5 million viewers (4.8, 8), NBC had 6.3 million (4.0, 7), My Network TV had 1.6 million and the CW had 1.5 million (both 1.0, 2) and ION Television had 620,000 (0.4, 1).

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision had 3.9 million viewers (2.0 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 11.4 million (0.6, 1), Telefutura had 720,000 (0.4, 1) and Azteca had 180,000 (0.1, 0).

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers (5.6, 12). ABC’s “World News” was second with 8 million (5.4, 11) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.9 million viewers (4, 8).

A ratings point represents 1,145,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of April 13-19, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 24.38 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 24.11 million; “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC, 19.46 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 15.72 million; “Dancing with the Stars Results,” ABC, 15.24 million; “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 15.03 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 13.85 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 13.56 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 15.03 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 13.23 million.

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