The return of the drama series, which stars Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria Parker and Felicity Huffman, was down over 5 million on last year's season opener, which drew 18.68m on September 28, 2008. Previously, the pilot episode logged 21.6m on October 4, 2004.
After Housewives, 9.33m stayed with ABC for the fourth season premiere of Brothers & Sisters and earlier, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had 9.66m between 7pm and 9pm.
Over on Fox, The Cleveland Show opened to 9.42m at 8.30pm after a lead-in from The Simpsons, which interested 8.21m at 8pm. Later, new episodes of Family Guy and American Dad were seen by 10.17m and 7.12m at 9pm and 9.30pm respectively.
The 15th cycle of Amazing Race premiered to 10.98m for CBS between 8pm and 10pm. then 9.05m watched Cold Case at 10pm.
NBC's Sunday Night Football performed best during primetime, averaging 14.57m across the 8.30pm-11pm period.