Setting aside all of the premieres on ABC, CBS and FOX, Sunday night was dominated in all measures by NBC's NFL showdown between traditional rivals the Giants and Eagles, a thriller that came down to the last play.
On the other hand, if you set aside football, ABC had ample cause for enthusiasm as "Once Upon a Time
" returned strong and led into a very respectable Sunday debut for "Revenge." The same enthusiasm couldn't be felt for ""666 Park Avenue
," which hemorrhaged viewers and came in far below last fall's "Pan Am" premiere.
Then again, "666 Park Avenue" still beat "The Mentalist
" among young viewers, as CBS has to face fine overall viewership, but disappointing demo numbers for both that transplanted drama and also "The Good Wife
FOX, meanwhile, had a huge dose of NFL overrun to start primetime, so it's hard to know how any of the network's premieres did exactly.
On to numbers...
For the night, NBC averaged a 6.4 rating among adults 18-49, tops in the key demographic. The NFL boosted FOX to second with a 4.6 key demo rating. ABC's 2.7 key demo rating topped the 2.1 key demo rating for CBS.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 16.64 million viewers and a 10.2 rating/16 share for Sunday night. FOX was second with an inflated 6.4/10 and 10.96 million viewers, compared to the 6.8/11 and 10.47 million viewers for CBS. ABC's 5.2/8 and 8.37 million viewers trailed.
[Univision averaged 2.84 million viewer and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 for Sunday night.]
7 p.m. - FOX started primetime in first with overrun from the Saints and Packers averaging 20.31 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "60 Minutes" averaged 11.53 million viewers for second and a 1.8 key demo rating for third (we'll assume a preemption delay in Miami won't make a huge difference in final figures, though it may make a tiny blip). NBC's "Football Night in America" averaged 6.79 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating, topping the 6 million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating for a "Once Upon a Time" clip show on ABC.
8 p.m. -
The start of Sunday Night Football
averaged 19.61 million viewers and a 7.4 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 8 p.m. hour. ABC's "Once Upon a Time" averaged 11.01 million viewers and a 3.8 key demo rating, a hair below last October's premiere, but well above May's finale. CBS drew 9.7 million viewers and a 2.4 key demo rating for the return of the Emmy-winning "The Amazing Race
." FOX's "The Simpsons
" (7.97 million and a 3.7 key demo) and "Bob's Burgers
" (5.4 million and a 2.5 key demo) were fourth overall and third in the key demo.
9 p.m. - NBC's NFL coverage improved to 21.69 million viewers and an 8.4 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' "The Good Wife" was second overall with 9.81 million viewers, but a distant fourth with a 1.8 key demo rating. ABC's "Revenge" averaged nearly 9.5 million viewers and a 3.2 key demo rating which, like the "Once" numbers, was down a tiny bit from the show's premiere (out of a huge "Modern Family" launch) last September, but far better than its Wednesday finale. FOX's "Family Guy" (6.53 million and a 3.3 key demo) and "American Dad" (5.23 million and a 2.5 key demo) came in fourth overall and third in the key demo.
10 p.m. - The Eagles and Giants averaged 18.47 million viewers and a 7.5 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' "The Mentalist" was second overall with 10.83 million viewers and third with a 2.1 key demo rating. ABC's "666 Park Avenue" averaged 6.97 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating, which is on-par (in the demo at least) with March's "GCB" premiere and substantially below what "Pan Am" did in its launch last September.
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.