[aimage=left]http://www.cybersplat.co.uk/cms/fox.jpg[/aimage]CBS aired the finale of “Survivor: Palau” Sunday night, half of which went head-to-head with ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” But while its average was off from last season, it actually performed much better than anything that has faced “Housewives” this season.

The two-hour season ender averaged a 7.6 rating among viewers 18-49, down 24 percent from the 10.0 “Survivor: All-Stars” earned for its finale last May. It averaged 20 million total viewers. The post-finale live reunion special was down 34.9 percent versus last year with a 6.9 average rating and 16.7 million total viewers.

With a 10.8 rating, “Housewives” was the night’s highest-rated show and ABC led the night with a 7.2 average rating and 18 share. CBS was second at 6.1/16, Fox third at 3.4/9, NBC fourth at 2.5/6 and the WB fifth at 1.0/3.

ABC led at 7 p.m. with a 3.7 average for the first hour of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” CBS was second with a 2.4 for “60 Minutes” and Fox third with a 2.3 average for “King of the Hill” (2.1) and “Malcolm in the Middle” (2.5).

CBS led at 8 p.m. with the first hour of the “Survivor” finale averaging a 6.9 rating. ABC was second with a 6.2 average for the last half of “Home Edition” and Fox third with a 4.0 for back-to-back episodes of “The Simpsons.”

ABC regained the lead at 9 p.m. with its 10.8 average for “Housewives.” CBS was second with an 8.3 for the second half of “Survivor” and Fox third with a 3.9 for “Family Guy” (4.2) and “American Dad” (3.6).

ABC led again at 10 p.m., this time with an 8.2 average for “Grey’s Anatomy.” CBS was second with its 6.9 for the “Survivor” reunion and NBC third with a 3.5 average for “Crossing Jordan.”

ABC also edged CBS for the night among households with a 10.9 average rating and an 18 share. CBS was second at 10.0/16, NBC third at 6.0/10, Fox fourth at 4.5/7 and the WB sixth at 1.7/3.