The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, setting up a Super Bowl matchup against the Arizona Cardinals and leading CBS to a ratings rout.
CBS averaged a 12.0 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, nearly doubling the combined totals for ABC (3.0 rating), FOX (1.8), NBC (1.3) and The CW (0.4).
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 33.7 million primetime viewers, plus an 18.6 rating/29 share. ABC was a distant third with a 5.9/9, followed by NBC's 3.4/5, FOX's 2.6/4 and the 0.7/1 for The CW.
CBS' football coverage began the night with a 21.2/34 in the 7 p.m. hour. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" took second, nipping the 3.8/6 for "Dateline NBC." Two episodes of FOX's "Hole in the Wall" averaged a 2.2/4, better than the 0.5/1 for "Jericho" on The CW.
At 8 p.m. CBS' football had a 19.9/30, besting the 5.1/8 for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." NBC's "Dateline" stayed second and topped the 2.6/4 for two episodes of "The Simpsons" on FOX. The CW aired "Mr. Mom" and nobody cared.
This is getting monotonous, but CBS' football held stable in the 9 p.m. hour with a 19.8/29. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was second with an 8.3/12. NBC's "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash" was third with a 3.0/4, better than the 2.9/4 for FOX's animated comedies. The CW left the light on with "Mr. Mom."
In the 10 p.m. hour, CBS' "The Mentalist" did a 13.7/22, but those numbers were dramatically skewed by the football. The second hour of CBS' hit procedural actually under-drew the show's regular Tuesday audience. ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" had a 6.1/10, while NBC's "SNL" special trailed.
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.