A tight, star-studded rivalry game between the Eagles and Cowboys delivered big Sunday Night Football ratings for NBC, helping the network hold off CBS, which was also boosted by NFL coverage.
Among adults 18-49, NBC ruled the night with a 6.8 rating, far ahead of CBS' 3.8 rating in the key demographic. FOX was third with a 2.9 rating, edging out the 2.7 rating for ABC/
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 18.85 million viewers and an 11.1 rating/17 share, far ahead of the 8.5/13 and 14.18 million viewers for CBS. ABC was a distant third with 9.4 million viewers and a 5.8/9, far ahead of the 6.17 million viewers and 3.6/6 for FOX.
7 p.m. -- CBS began primetime in first with 21 million viewers and a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49 for "60 Minutes," which was boosted by half-an-hour of NFL overrun through much of the country. NBC's "Football Night in America" was second with 9.73 million viewers. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" finished third with 8.8 million viewers. FOX's "Running Wilde" and a "Simpsons" repeat were fourth with 3.7 million viewers.
8 p.m. -- The start of the Philadelphia-Dallas football game put NBC in first in the 8 p.m. hour with 19.72 million viewers and a 6.8 demo rating. CBS' finale of "The Amazing Race" (and half-an-hour of "60 Minutes" in much of the country) averaged 13.99 million viewers and a 3.7 demo rating in second. ABC's "Extreme Makeover" was third overall with 8.58 million viewers and fourth in the demo. FOX's "The Simpsons" and the first half of "Family Guy" averaged 7.66 million viewers and a 3.6 demo rating.
9 p.m. -- NBC's football improved to 23.7 million viewers and an 8.6 demo rating in its second hour. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was second overall with 11.45 million viewers and tied for second with a 3.5 key demo rating. CBS' "Undercover Boss" (and 30 minutes of "The Amazing Race" finale) averaged 11 million viewers for CBS and finished fourth in the demo. FOX was fourth overall with 7.15 million viewers for "Family Guy" and "American Dad," but tied with ABC for second in the demo.
10 p.m. -- The football game ended primetime with a robust 22.24 million viewers and an 8.7 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC. CBS' "CSI: Miami" (and a bit of "Undercover Boss") was second with 10.71 million viewers and a 2.7 demo rating. ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" was third with 8.77 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating.
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.