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Housewives 'Hanger Holds Ratings Victory

The season finale of Desperate Housewives, with hunk Mike Delphino in mortal danger as the cliffhanger ended, recorded its best ratings to date with a 13.2 rating/31 share in Nielsen overnight numbers for the 18-49 demo.

Grey's Anatomy had its best night ever with a 9.9/25 at 10, though it lost some of that strong Housewives lead-in, dropping from a 10.4/25 in its first half-hour to a 9.5/24 in its second.

ABC has now set the sweeps and season bar for scripted-show ratings, with likely only the American Idol finale standing in the way of bragging rights for any but non-Superbowl numbers.

ABC won every half-hour, including for a two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that built over every half hour to its reveal of a beautiful new home for the American Indian family of a Gulf War hero.

In a far, far away second position at a 3.6/10 was Fox with a Star Wars theatrical in hopes of capitalizing on the release of the latest Star Wars flick.

CBS was third with a 2.9/8, essentially conceding the night, as did NBC and and the WB, by running repeats at 9-11. An original 60 Minutes drew a 1.7/6 at 8-9, tying Dateline, and averaged a 3/8 for Cold Case.

NBC was fourth with a 2.1/6 for its repeats at 9-11, plus an original Dateline (1.7/6) and Contender (2.6/7).

The WB was fifth with a 1.1/3 for a new Charmed and repeats of One Tree Hill and Steve Harvey.