''Housewives'' scores strong debut. More than 21.3 million watched the season debut, aiding ABC's comeback

By Brian Hiatt
Updated October 05, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Desperate Housewives

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There must be a lot of unhappy suburbanites out there. ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which presents a dark view of the ‘burbs, was a huge hit in its series debut Sunday night, nabbing 21.3 million viewers, according to wire service reports. The show, which kicked off with a housewife’s apparent suicide, was ABC’s most-watched series premiere since Spin City in 1996. It’s also the highest-rated series debut on any network this fall, beating even CSI: NY and Joey, according to Reuters.

ABC, which had slipped to fourth place among the networks, has had other good news this season. The new desert-island drama Lost has scored solid ratings, and Boston Legal, a spinoff of The Practice that airs directly after Housewives, won its timeslot. However, the network’s Apprentice-like The Benefactor, with billionaire Mark Cuban playing a philanthropic version of Donald Trump, has failed to connect with viewers.

Episode Recaps

Desperate Housewives

Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman star in the soap set on the dangerous Wisteria Lane

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