Cowboys backup QB Kyle Orton
America was ready for some football, even of the barely recognizable early preseason variety.
The NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Dolphins dominated Sunday night in all key measures for NBC, delivering the network's best Sunday numbers since -- and this is not a surprise -- the Pro Bowl in January.
Between the live nature of the football on NBC and the ongoing kerfuffle between CBS and Time-Warner Cable in a number of major markets, feel free to take Sunday's ratings with as many grains of salt as you choose.
For the night, NBC averaged a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49, easily winning Sunday in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 1.3 key demo rating, followed by FOX's 1.2 key demo rating. ABC averaged a 0.9 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 7.96 million viewers and a 4.9 rating/9 share, beating CBS' 4.3/8 and 6.57 million viewers for Sunday primetime. There was a big drop to ABC's 2.4/4 and 3.79 million viewers and the 1.5/3 and 2.45 million viewers for FOX.
7 p.m. -
CBS started primetime in first overall with 8.115 million viewers for "60 Minutes
," tying for second with a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "America's Got Talent" encore was second overall with 4.62 million viewers and won the hour with a 1.4 key demo rating. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" repeat was third with 4.21 million viewers and tied for second with a 0.9 key demo rating. On FOX, repeats of "American Dad" and "The Simpsons" averaged 1.64 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.
8 p.m. -
The start of preseason football averaged 10.16 million viewers and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' "Big Brother
" averaged 6.78 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, which was down by only 4 percent from last week. ABC's "Secret Millionaire" premiered to 5.02 million viewers for third and a 1.2 key demo rating for fourth for the hour. FOX's repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers" averaged 2.575 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. -
The second hour of preseason football dipped to 9.2 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 as NBC still ruled the hour. CBS' "Unforgettable
" dropped from last week's premiere with 6.96 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating. FOX's "Family Guy" repeats were second in the key demo with a 1.6 rating and third overall with 3.14 million viewers. In fourth, ABC's "Whodunnit
?" slipped to 3.02 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC's football coverage was down to 7.87 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' "The Mentalist" repeat averaged 4.42 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating, beating the 2.92 million viewers and 0.5 key demo rating for ABC's "Castle" repeat.
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.
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