Doubted by most pundits, the New England Patriots came out and beat up the favored Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. There were no pundits to doubt NBC, which got huge numbers for the game and dominated Sunday night.
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 5.9 rating, tops for the night in the coveted demographic. FOX, boosted by NFL overrun, was second with a 4.5 rating. ABC's 2.5 rating and the 2.4 rating for CBS trailed.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 15.63 million viewers to go with a 9.4 rating/15 share. FOX was second overall with 10.991 million viewers and earned a 6.5/10. CBS had a 6.6/10, but 10.85 million viewers for third. ABC's 9.05 million viewers and a 5.6/9 came in a close fourth.
7 p.m. -- FOX started primetime in first with 18.94 million viewers and a 7.0 demo rating for NFL overrun. CBS' "60 Minutes" averaged 12.1 million viewers, though several markets had NFL overrun into the hour. NBC's "Football Night in America" finished third with 7.38 million viewers and second in the demo. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" was fourth with 7.215 million viewers.
8 p.m. -- NBC moved into first in the 8 p.m. hour with 18.09 million viewers and a 6.6 demo rating for the start of the game between Pittsburgh and New England. CBS was second with a 6.2/9 for "The Amazing Race," which came in third in the demo with a 2.7 rating. ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was third with 8.51 million viewers. FOX's "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" were fourth overall with 7.84 million viewers and second in the demo with a 3.5 rating.
9 p.m. -- The Patriots and Steelers stayed in first for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour, delivering 19.5 million viewers and a 7.4 demo rating. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was second with 11.78 million viewers and a 3.7 demo rating. CBS' "Undercover Boss" was third overall with 10.34 million viewers, fourth in the demo. FOX's "Family Guy" and "American Dad" finished fourth overall with 6.2 million viewers and third in the demo.
10 p.m. -- The football game ended primetime with 17.56 million viewers and a 7.0 demo rating for NBC. CBS' "CSI: Miami" was second overall with 10.44 million viewers, but third in the demo. ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" was third with 8.69 million viewers and second with 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.