'Desperate Housewives' take ABC to the top

MUMBAI: For Disney's beleaguered ABC network desperate for hits Desperate Housewives has delivered the goods..

21.3 million viewers watched the premiere episode on Sunday night making it the most watched series for the week ended 3 October 2004.

The drama takes a darkly comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren't always what they seem. Looking down on her friends and family isn't a way of life for Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong)... it's a way of death.

One day, in her perfect house, in the loveliest of suburbs, Mary Alice ended her life. Now she's taking us into the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, commenting from her elevated point of view.

Her small circle of girlfriends are wondering why one of their own would do something so rash... and so messy. There's Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), the divorcee and single mom who will go to extraordinary lengths for love. Lynette Scavo played by Felicity Huffman is the ex-career woman who traded the boardroom for boredom, mixed with moments of sheer panic as the mother of four unmanageable kids.

An AP report has however noted that Desperate Housewives would not have been the week's number one show had the Bush-Kerry debate not wiped out part of strong Thursday lineups on CBS and NBC.

CBS' Survivor: Vanuatu was the second highest rated series for the week with 19.9 million viewers. Fox is clearly feeling the heat of American Idol's absence. During the week not one show from the Rupert Murdoch owned broadcaster attracted over eight million viewers. Its most popular programme Trading Spouses was way down at number 53 for the week.

The poor start has already claimed one casualty: Fox announced that its boxing reality series The Next Great Champ would now move to Fox Sports Net. Last week's edition had only 4.4 million viewers.

One show that benefitted greatly from the Bush Kerry debate was Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.. On Thursday night 2.4 million viewers tuned in In India the global version of the show airs on CNN on Sunday night.

For the week, CBS averaged 12.3 million viewers. ABC had 10.8 million. NBC had 9.7 million while Fox was fourth with five million.

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