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Secret Millionaire Scores for ABC

Fox's loss may just be ABC's gain: Sunday's resurrection of Secret Millionaire scored strong ratings for the Alphabet, with 12.6 million folks tuning in to watch rich people try to avoid eternal damnation by doing good deeds. That made it Sunday's most-watched show and gave ABC its best viewership in the time slot since March 2008; among viewers under 50, Millionaire also scored, averaging a 3.3 rating. Assuming they hold up, the numbers vindicate ABC's reality department: It smartly snatched up Millionaire after Fox made the head-scratching call to dump it, despite the fact that the show's initial December 2008 run did quite well in the Nielsens. While Millionaire racked up ratings riches, NBC's unscripted newcomers weren't so lucky. Heavily hyped competition series America's Next Great Restaurant was pretty much dead on arrival, managing a mere 1.6 ratings with viewers under 50 (that's one-third fewer than watched the March 2010 bow of Minute to Win It). Also played out: NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, which was down 16 percent from last spring's premiere.

Photo: ABC