A special Sunday night airing of "America's Got Talent" did its job for NBC, carrying the network to Sunday wins in most measures and helping curb enthusiasm for ABC's heavily promoted "Rising Star" premiere.
The live nature, at least for much of the country, of the "Rising Star" premiere makes it very difficult to gauge the singing competition's actual audience on Sunday and ABC has already said that time zone adjusted figures will be available this morning. As soon as those numbers are available, this story will be updated. It seems likely both that actual numbers will be a bit higher, but also that the "Rising Star" premiere ratings will fall short of "huge."
[UPDATE: After ABC announced reporters to hold off on grand pronouncements on the success or failure of "Rising Star" until the network got adjusted Fast Nationals, the ratings are in and... "Rising Star" had the exact same numbers post-adjustment, basically. The two-hour block averaged 5.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.]
Other than the "America's Got Talent"/"Rising Star" showdown (and an underwhelming Sunday premiere for "Wipeout"), Sunday's only notable was the [network] series finale for "Enlisted," which sunk below a million viewers and did a series low in the key demo.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 1.4 rating for Sunday primetime, edging out the 1.3 rating for NBC in the key demographic. FOX was third with a 0.9 key demo rating, followed by CBS' 0.4 key demo rating.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 5.35 million viewers and a 3.1 rating/6 share for Sunday night. ABC was second with 4.27 million viewers and a 2.4/4, compared to the 4.235 million viewers and 2.8/5 for CBS. FOX did a 1.1/2 and averaged 1.88 million viewers for Sunday primetime.
7 p.m. - CBS started the night in first overall with 6.53 million viewers for "60 Minutes," which finished second with a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49. ABC's "Wipeout" averaged 2.95 million viewers and an hour-winning 0.8 key demo rating. NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" repeat averaged just under 2 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating. FOX trailed with the "Enlisted" finale (941,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo) and an "American Dad" repeat (1.01 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating).
8 p.m. - ABC moved into first for the 8 p.m. hour with 4.085 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 for "Wipeout." NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" repeat was second with 3.41 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, compared to the 3.285 million viewers and 0.3 key demo rating for CBS' "Elementary" repeat. Two repeats of "The Simpsons" averaged 2.24 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating for FOX.
9 p.m. - NBC charged into first for the 9 p.m. hour with 7.41 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 for "America's Got Talent." The first hour of ABC's "Rising Star" was second with 5.12 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating. CBS' "Good Wife" repeat averaged 3.06 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating, compared to the 2.41 million viewers and 1.2 key demo rating for repeats of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" on FOX.
10 p.m. - "America's Got Talent" rose to 8.59 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's "Rising Star" was fairly flat with 4.92 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating, boding reasonably well for next week when the competition will be different. CBS' "The Mentalist" repeat averaged 4.06 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, particularly in the case of live events.