Nick and Jessica score a win for ABC. Their variety show and ''Extreme Makeover'' are Sunday's top shows

By Gary Susman
April 13, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour: Carin Baer

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson revived the long-dead variety-show genre on Easter Sunday, and in the process, helped revive the Sunday fortunes of ABC. According to Nielsen, ”The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour” drew 11.4 million viewers and was the evening’s top show among 18-to-49-year-old viewers. It far outdrew the slot’s usual occupant, ”Alias” (which is averaging 8.1 million viewers), and it was the night’s second most-viewed show, second only to ABC’s own ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (11.7 million), which preceded it. As a result of the ”Newlyweds” stars’ success, ABC is planning another installment at Christmastime, according to the New York Daily News, with an eye toward making their ”Variety Hour” a quarterly special. We’re sure that Lou Ferrigno, the Captain and Tennille, and Reggie Jackson are lining up to be guests.