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TV Ratings: Cowboys-Redskins game breaks records for NBC Sunday
Rivalry game delivers the biggest regular season overnights in years
While FOX got an early-evening boost from an NFL thriller between the Packers and Vikings, a rivalry game with playoff implications between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys kept NBC in its usual position atop the Sunday charts.
In fact, per early numbers [subject to change as always], the Redskins-Cowboys game drew the biggest ratings in the seven-year history of NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and did some of the best numbers for a primetime regular season NFL game in 15 years.
For the night, NBC averaged a 7.3 rating among adults 18-49, far ahead of FOX's 3.7 rating in the key demographic. CBS' 1.1 rating and the 0.9 rating for ABC trailed in the key demo.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 21.43 million viewers and a 12.0 rating/19 share for Sunday night, with FOX's 5.9/9 and 10.285 million viewers a distant second. CBS was third with 7.49 million viewers and a 4.9/8, while ABC's 2.0/3 and 3.535 million viewers finished third.
7 p.m. - FOX's NFL overrun ruled the 7 p.m. hour with 22.2 million viewers and a 7.5 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second overall with 9.22 million viewers for a little NFL overrun and "60 Minutes," coming in third with a 1.8 key demo rating. "Football Night in America" had NBC in second with a 2.8 key demo rating and third with 9.065 million viewers. ABC's repeat of "America's Funniest Home Videos" trailed with 5.19 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - The start of the Redskins-Cowboys game boosted NBC into first for the 8 p.m. hour with 23.98 million viewers and an 8.1 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "60 Minutes" and an "NCIS" repeat averaged 8.95 million viewers and finished third with a 1.2 key demo rating. FOX's repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers" finished second with a 2.1 key demo rating and third with 5.15 million viewers. ABC's "Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix" averaged 2.875 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The football game was up to 26.79 million viewers and a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' repeat of "NCIS" and a repeat of "The Good Wife" finished second overall with 6.42 million viewers and tied for third with a 0.8 key demo rating. FOX's repeats of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" were second in the key demo with a 1.6 rating and third overall with 3.51 million viewers. ABC trailed with 2.89 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating for its Harry Potter film.
10 p.m. - Dallas and Washington closed primetime with 25.86 million viewers and a 9.3 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC. The repeats of "Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" averaged 5.36 million viewers for CBS, but finished third with a 0.7 key demo rating. ABC's movie was third overall with 3.185 million viewers and second with a 0.9 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, particularly in the case of live events.