Fast National ratings for Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009.

This just in: NBC won Sunday night thanks to the Super Bowl. Yes, shocking.

While all numbers are, of course, preliminary, it appears that the figures for Super Bowl XLIII, a classic between the Steelers and Cardinals, were down comfortably from last year's match-up between the Patriots and Giants.

For the night, NBC averaged a 29.9 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. ABC was second with a 1.4 rating, followed by the 1.0 rating for FOX, CBS' 0.8 rating and the 0.2 rating for The CW. 

Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 78.88 million viewers and a 35.0 rating/54 share. CBS was second with a 3.1/5. ABC's 2.4/4 and the 1.5/2 for FOX were next. And, once again, The CW trailed with a 0.4/1.

Primetime began at 7 p.m. with the Super Bowl already in progress, averaging a 40.8/63 for NBC the hour. The 7 p.m. hour featured the game's largest average audience (95 million) and its biggest 18-49 demos (34.8 rating). ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" was second with a 2.3/4, followed by the 2.1/3 for a "CBS Reports" special. FOX's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" was fourth, beating the 0.4/1 for "Jericho" on The CW.

At 8 p.m. NBC's football did a 38.0/57. CBS moved up to second with a 3.2/5 for "Cold Case." ABC's "Wipeout" was third, beating the 1.5/2 for "The Simpsons" and "American Dad" on FOX. The CW's airing of "Throw Momma From the Train" was fifth.

The Super Bowl had a 38.2/56 in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS held second with "The Unit." ABC's "Wipeout" had a 2.2/3 for third, followed closely by FOX's animated comedies. The CW's movie had a 0.5/1 for fifth.

At 10 p.m. NBC stayed on top with the end of the game (31.4/49) and the start of "The Office" (15.0/26). CBS' "The Mentalist" was second with a 4.5/7, while ABC's "Wipeout" had a 2.8/5.

Stay tuned for final ratings later in the day.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, especially 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.