TV Ratings: Football fuels CBS, NBC Sunday split
Solid Sunday returns for 'The Simpsons' and 'Desperate Housewives
A protracted overtime between the Jets and Bills pushed into CBS' primetime and helped the network claim Sunday night overall, while NBC's matchup between the the Falcons and Bears led to a demographic win for the evening.
Among adults 18-49, NBC won the night with a 4.8 rating, beating the 4.0 rating for CBS. FOX and ABC tied for third in the key demographic with a 3.2 rating.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 13.84 million viewers to go with an 8.6 rating/14 share. NBC was a solid second with a 7.6/12, followed closely by ABC's 6.6/10. FOX was a distant fourth with a 3.8/6.
CBS began the night in first with a 12.7/21 for the Jets-Bills overtime. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" had a 4.7/8 for second, beating the 3.8/6 for NBC's "Football Night in America." FOX's repeats of "The Cleveland Show" and "The Simpsons" finished fourth.
The end of the football game plus 45 minutes of "60 Minutes" averaged a 10.0/15 for CBS in the 8 p.m. hour. The start of NBC's Sunday Night Football game was second for the hour with a 7.6/12. ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" finished third, well ahead of the 4.5/7 averaged by FOX's "The Simpsons" (the annual "Treehouse of Horrors" episode) and "The Cleveland Show."
NBC moved into first at 9 p.m. with a 9.5/14 for the football game. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was second with an 8.6/13, beating CBS' "60 Minutes" and "The Amazing Race" combo. FOX's "Family Guy" and "American Dad" averaged a 4.2/6 for fourth.
The Falcons and Bears stayed steady for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" had a 6.6/11 for second. CBS was third with "The Amazing Race" and "Three Rivers," taking a big drop at the half-hour when the freshman medical drama was in play.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.