On a slightly jumbled Thursday night that also featured President Obama wrangling a primetime block to make a jobs speech (rendering the 8 p.m. hourly ratings meaningless), NBC's NFL Opener between the Packers and Saints had no real competition.
Although the NFL Kickoff game was down a miniscule amount from last year, that also made it the second-highest rated NBC regular-season primetime game ever. It helped that the match-up of recent Super Bowl champs was a thriller that was still in doubt until the final play.
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 9.5 rating for the night, routing the competition in the key demographic. CBS was a distant second with a 1.7 rating, topping ABC's 1.2 rating, FOX's 0.9 rating and the 0.3 rating for The CW.
Overall, NBC averaged a whopping 24.47 million viewers in primetime, along with a 14.4 rating/23 share. CBS stayed second with a far-less-impressive 3.8/6 and 5.775 million viewers, beating ABC's 3.2/5 and 4.88 million viewers. FOX averaged a 2.3/4 and 3.27 million viewers, while The CW did a 0.6/1 and 835,000 viewers.
8 p.m. - As mentioned previously, President Obama's address skewed the 8 p.m. hourly ratings for much of the country on most of the networks. NBC finished first with the build-up to the Green Bay/New Orleans game, which averaged 22.76 million viewers and an 8.3 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" and a special Fall Preview averaged 6.14 million viewers in second. ABC's "Wipeout" was third with 5.13 million viewers, beating the 3 million viewers for FOX's "Bones." The CW drew 977,000 viewers for "The Vampire Diaries."
9 p.m. -
NBC's football coverage really took over in the 9 p.m. hour with 27.56 million viewers and a 10.7 rating among adults 18-49. The game knocked CBS' "Big Brother
" down to 6.53 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating in second. ABC's "Rookie Blue
" averaged 4.475 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, beating the 3.54 million viewers for another "Bones" repeat on FOX. The CW's "Plain Jane" pulled in 694,000 viewers.
10 p.m. - The Packers and Saints averaged 23.08 million viewers and a 9.6 key demo rating for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. "Rookie Blue" averaged 5.02 million viewers in second, actually beating the 4.65 million viewers for a "Mentalist" repeat on CBS.
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.