ABC\'s \'Desperate Housewives\' Wins Big Ratings, Michael Moore On PPV Tonight For Election Commentary


ABC had all the tricks and the treats as a Halloween night airing of “Desperate Housewives” racked up its largest audience to date.

The suburban black comedy delivered 22.3 million viewers and 9.8 rating/23 share in the adults 18-49 demographic at 9 p.m., according to preliminary estimates for Sunday from Nielsen Media Research.

ABC’s mega-hit beat the combined numbers of its broadcast network competition in the hour, and it did so even without the benefit of airing in the nation’s third-largest TV market, Chicago, where the ABC-owned station opted to carry ESPN’s coverage of a football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears instead of “Housewives.”

ABC was also hot at 8 p.m. with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” pulling 14.9 million viewers and 6.2/16 in 18-49, a rock-solid showing given the distractions posed by trick-or-treating and other holiday-themed activities.

At 10 p.m., however, the pattern of the past few weeks continued wherein NBC’s drama “Crossing Jordan” (12.6 million, 4.4/12) pulled into a near dead-heat with ABC’s “Boston Legal” (12.6 million, 4.8/13) despite the latter’s lead-in advantage from “Housewives.” “Jordan’s” showing was also impressive given the relative weakness of its 9 p.m. lead-in, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (11.4 million, 3.7/9).

CBS’ schedule was thrown off by a football overrun that stretched into the first half-hour of primetime. But even with a delayed 8:30 p.m. start time in East coast and Midwestern markets, CBS’ drama “Cold Case” (15.7 million, 4.0/10) notched its highest numbers in viewers and adults 18-49 in more than seven months. Fox was off the radar with its 8-10 p.m. airing of the 1998 “The X-Files” theatrical (3.2 million, 1.3/3).

The WB Network didn’t do itself any favors in scheduling its struggling newcomer “The Mountain” in the 9 p.m. slot previously held by another fledgling freshman drama “Jack & Bobby,” which has relocated to “Mountain’s” old Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot. “Mountain” drew fewer than 2 million viewers, coming out of a healthy 8 p.m. lead-in from “Charmed” (3.8 million, 1.8/5).

For the night, the NFL overrun appeared to push CBS over the top in total viewers (15 million) while ABC prevailed in adults 18-49 (5.9/15).

With the election less than 24 hours away and the hotly contested race between President George Bush and Senator John Kerry going down to the wire, there are potentially millions of undecided voters looking for that last little bit of info that might help them choose the next Prez.

And, after months of trying, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is finally getting a chance to unspool his Fahrenheit 9/11 investigation of the George Bush presidency for pay-per-view viewers on election eve.

The Dish satellite TV network, currently available to more than 10 million customers, is offering a onetime PPV viewing of the special Monday night. For $9.95, viewers can check out Moore’s opus on channel 458 at 8 p.m. ET, and channel 456 at 8 p.m. PT.

In the interest of fair play, Dish will also air filmmaker Carlton Sherwood’s documentary on Kerry’s Vietnam War days called Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal on Monday. The anti-Kerry film is also available for free download at the official documentary Website,

Moore’s project will also get Internet play, as online movies-on-demand site is offering a onetime opportunity to download the flick, also for a $9.95 fee, at 8 p.m. ET Monday. A CinemaNow spokesman reports that Moore and one of the flick’s distributors have agreed to donate profits from the download to a charity that benefits war veterans.

Moore had earlier made a deal with cable PPV-er In Demand to air Fahrenheit 9/11 as the centerpiece of an election eve package, but In Demand announced last month that it was pulling the special because of “legitimate business and legal concerns.” Moore charged the company with buckling to Bush supporters.

The entire article can be read here

Credit: Cynthia Littleton, Kimberly Potts, Reuters, Hollywood Reporter, E Online, Yahoo

Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at