Sunday viewers were watching a lot of NFL action, whether that was a full hour of overrun for CBS or NBC's normal Sunday Night Football game between the Packers and Cowboys.
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 5.3 rating, just ahead of the 4.6 rating for CBS in the coveted demographic. FOX was third with a 2.8 rating, leaving ABC in fourth for the night with a 2.7 rating.
Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 16.09 million viewers and a 9.6 rating/15 share. NBC's 14.03 million viewers and an 8.4/13 finished second. ABC was a distant third with a 5.9/9 and an estimated 9.58 million viewers, still comfortably ahead of the 3.5/5 and 3.5/5 for FOX.
[Note, of course, that although CBS had NFL overrun roughly seven minutes into the 8 p.m. hour in the Eastern and Central time zones, primetime continued as usual for some of the country, meaning that the network's ratings are pretty certain to change dramatically when final figures come in.]
7 p.m. -- With a pair of close games going down to the wire, CBS capitalized and drew 27.6 million viewers and an 8.7 demo rating for NFL overrun in the 7 p.m. hour. ABC was a distant second with the 7.63 million viewers for "America's Funniest Home Videos." NBC was third with 6.6 million viewers for "Football Night in America," which was second for the hour in the demo with a 2.1 rating. FOX's repeats of "The Simpsons" finished fourth with 3.965 million viewers.
8 p.m. -- The start of the game between the Packers and Cowboys gave NBC 15.98 million viewers and a 5.8 demo rating, both enough to win the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' NFL overrun and "60 Minutes" (or "The Amazing Race" in some markets) averaged 15.58 million viewers and a 4.0 demo rating. ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was third overall with 9.28 million viewers, but fourth in the demo. FOX's Halloween-themed episodes of "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" averaged 7.45 million viewers and a 3.4 demo rating.
9 p.m. -- NBC's football game was up to 18.16 million viewers and a 6.9 demo rating in the 9 p.m. hour. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was second with 12.56 million viewers and a 4.0 demo rating. CBS hodgepodge of programming (mostly "Amazing Race" for part of the country and "Undercover Boss" for the left side) averaged 11.27 million for third, but finished fourth in the demo. FOX's Halloween-themed "Family Guy" and "American Dad" were fourth overall with 7.13 million viewers and a 3.4 demo rating.
10 p.m. -- Football stayed on top for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour with 15.39 million viewers and a 6.3 demo rating. CBS' "Undercover Boss" (and whatever else it aired) finished second with 9.89 million viewers, just beating the 8.835 million for ABC's "Brothers & Sisters."
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.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
HitFix delivers the Movie, Music, TV and Awards and general entertainment news that fans care about most, without the gossip or celebrity scandal. Our nationally-recognized, tastemaker journalists provide the latest breaking news, analysis, reviews, recaps, interviews and exclusives 24 hours a day while our proprietary localized Event Calendar and mobile apps allow consumers to stay up to the minute while managing their entertainment lives. Find out What’s Next In Entertainment with HitFix.