Jennifer Armstrong
January 04, 2010 AT 05:06 PM EST

Early-evening football overruns boosted primetime numbers on CBS and Fox, giving Fox’s The Simpsons 1.6 million viewers over its last original airing and The Cleveland Show 500,000 more viewers, according to early Nielsen estimates. Desperate Housewives surged, up 500,000 viewers from its already huge Dec. 6 airing, as it resolved its pre-Christmas plane crash cliffhanger — and marked the return of fresh, scripted television to the airwaves after the holiday hiatus with its biggest audience in more than a year.

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
7 p.m. NFL overrun/60 Minutes (CBS)

NFL overrun (Fox)

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

Football Night in America (NBC)

14.9

12.4

10.2

7.0

8 p.m. Sunday Night Football (NBC)

NCIS (CBS)

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

The Simpsons (Fox)

14.2

11.4 (repeat)

11.0

8.7

8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (Fox) 7.0
9 p.m. Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Cold Case (CBS)

Family Guy (Fox)

15.2

8.6 (repeat)

8.1

9:30 p.m. American Dad (Fox) 5.9
10 p.m. Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

Cold Case (CBS)

10.9

7.2 (repeat)

Source: Nielsen

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