The NFL preseason showdown between the Bears and Broncos, featuring Jay Cutler's return to Denver, gave NBC a big audience on Sunday night. Meanwhile, the Daytime Emmys helped The CW to its best Sunday performance in memory (which isn't saying too much).
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 2.8 rating, comfortably ahead of FOX's 1.8 rating in the key demographic. CBS' 1.6 rating and the 1.5 rating for ABC followed, with The CW's 0.5 rating coming in fifth.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 8.77 million viewers to go with a 5.5 rating/10 share. CBS was second for the night with a 4.2/7, far ahead of the 3.0/5 for ABC and FOX's 2.2/4. The CW wasn't that far back with a 1.6/3, which doesn't sound like much, but still doubles the netlet's usual Sunday audience.
CBS started the night in first with a 6.2/12 for "60 Minutes." ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" was second with a 3.7/7, nipping NBC's "Dateline" for the hour. FOX was fourth with "'Til Death" and "American Dad," which finished ahead of the 0.9/2 first hour of the Daytime Emmys coverage on The CW.
NBC moved into first at 8 p.m. with a 6.2/11 for the start of the NFL preseason game. CBS was second with "Big Brother," which did a 4.5/8. ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was third, beating the 2.7/5 for FOX's two episodes of "The Simpsons." The CW's Daytime Emmys telecast improved to a 1.9/3 in its second hour.
The Denver-Chicago game was up to a 6.8/11 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. ABC's "Shark Tank" was second with a 3.0/5. FOX's "Family Guy" and "American Dad" beat the 2.3/4 for CBS' "There Goes the Neighborhood" and the 2.1/3 for The CW's awards telecast.
NBC stayed on top at 10 p.m. with a 5.6/10 for the football action. CBS' "Cold Case" was second, well ahead of the 1.7/3 for ABC's "Defying Gravity."
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.