CBS' broadcast of the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards dominated all three of its hours on Sunday night, building to a crescendo in the 9 p.m. hour and helping the network dominate primetime in all measures.
It was the biggest ACM Awards audience in 15 years and the show's top performance in the 18-49 demo since 2001.
With the other networks fearing the ACM Awards, or perhaps a slew of high profile cable premieres and finales, Sunday offered little else of note, unless you're excited by a flat week for "Celebrity Apprentice."
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 3.6 rating for Sunday night, beating the combined totals for the other three networks in the key demographic. FOX was second with a 1.3 rating, followed by NBC's 1.2 rating and ABC's 0.7 rating in the key demo.
Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 13.87 million viewers and an 8.4 rating/14 share for Sunday. NBC was second with a 2.4/4 and 3.735 million viewers, topping ABC's 2.1/3 and 3.27 million viewers. FOX averaged a 1.6/3 and 2.82 million viewers for the night.
[Univision averaged 2.42 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 for Sunday night.]
7 p.m. - CBS started its primetime sweep with 9.34 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for "60 Minutes." A repeat of "America's Funniest Home Videos" had ABC in second with 5.545 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating. NBC's "The Voice" encore was third with 3.37 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, ahead of the 1.87 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for FOX's repeats of "Bob's Burgers" and "The Cleveland Show."
8 p.m. - The start of the ACM Awards telecast averaged 14.58 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS in the 8 p.m. hour. NBC's repeat of "The Voice" was a distant second with 4.425 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating, just ahead of the 3.105 million viewers and 1.4 key demo rating for repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers" on FOX. ABC's repeat of "Once Upon a Time" averaged nearly 3 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The country awards telecast rose to 16.38 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49 for CBS in the 9 p.m. hour. FOX's repeats of "Family Guy" (3.595 million and a 1.7 key demo) and a new "The Cleveland Show" (3.37 million and a 1.6 key demo rating) finished second. NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" encore averaged 2.69 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating, with ABC's "Revenge" repeat finishing fourth with 2.38 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - The ACM Awards telecast dipped slightly to 15.165 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49, still dominating for CBS in the 10 p.m. hour. NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" averaged 4.455 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating in second. ABC's repeat of "Red Widow" averaged 2.175 million viewers and a 0.5 key 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.
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.