Fast National ratings for Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009.

CBS knew that the Emmy telecast would have a hard time going up against NBC's Giants-Cowboys game, but the network may not have anticipated getting utterly crushed in the showdown. Indeed, with repeat wins for "30 Rock" and "Mad Men" going up against a Sunday Night Football thriller, the race wasn't even close.

Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 7.8 rating, comfortably topping the 5.3 rating for CBS. FOX was a distant third in the key demographic with a 2.1 rating, followed by ABC's 1.4 rating and the 0.4 rating for The CW.

Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 18.5 million viewers to go with an 11.3 rating/18 share. CBS was second with a 9.3/15, much of that coming courtesy of early-evening NFL overrun. FOX's 2.8/5, ABC's 2.4/5 and the 0.7/1 for The CW weren't really factors.

CBS started the night in first with an 11.2/20 for NFL overrun and a sliver of "60 Minutes." NBC's football pregame was second with a 5.6/10. The start of ABC's all-night broadcast of "King Kong" and FOX's "American Dad" and "The Simpsons" both averaged a 2.3/4 (advantage FOX in viewers and in the key demo). The CW trailed.

NBC moved into first at 8 p.m. with a 12.8/20 for the start of the game between New York and Dallas. The beginning of the Emmy telecast had a 9.5/15 for CBS. FOX's two "Simpsons" repeats had a 3.1/5 for FOX. ABC's "King Kong" was fourth, beating the 0.6/1 for a repeat of "The Beautiful Life: TBL" on The CW.

The second hour of football improved to a 14.0/21 on NBC in the 9 p.m. hour, with CBS' Emmys telecast dropping to an 8.8/14. FOX's "Family Guy" and "American Dad" were third, while ABC's movie had a 2.7/4. The CW's moved on to a "Melrose Place" repeat in fifth.

In the 10 p.m. hour, NBC's football had a 12.8/21 and a 9.0 rating in the 18-49 demo, while CBS' Emmys telecast was down to a 7.6/13 and a 4.2 in the demo. ABC's movie was third.


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.