TV Ratings: Bengals-Cardinals NFL preseason and a 'Big Brother' high lead Sunday
A season high for "Big Brother" delivered Sunday's best individual performance among young viewers, but it was an NFL preseason game between the Bengals and Cardinals that led NBC to Sunday ratings victories.
Note that FOX had NFL preseason overrun, skewing its early-evening results, while NBC will have the normal live event uncertainty.
We'll also have to wait until later for major cable results, including the series finale for HBO's "True Blood" and MTV's Video Music Awards coverage.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 1.8 rating for Sunday night, tops in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 1.3 key demo rating, followed by FOX's 1.0 key demo rating. ABC averaged a 0.8 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, NBC averaged a 4.2 rating/7 share and an estimated 6.55 million viewers for Sunday primetime, edging out the 4.1/7 and 6.51 million viewers for CBS. There was a big drop to ABC's 2.0/3 and 3.12 million viewers, while FOX averaged 2.48 million viewers and a 1.5/3.
7 p.m. - CBS led the 7 p.m. hour overall with 8.37 million viewers for "60 Minutes," which finished third with a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Dateline" was second with 6.4 million viewers and tied for first with a 1.2 key demo rating. FOX's NFL-inflated repeats of "American Dad" and "The Simpsons" averaged 3.08 million viewers and a 1.2 key demo rating. ABC's "Wipeout" averaged 2.985 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - The start of NBC's NFL preseason gave averaged just over 7.26 million viewers to win the 8 p.m. hour, finishing second with a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Big Brother" averaged a hair under 7.26 million viewers and led with a 2.5 key demo rating. ABC's "Wipeout" averaged 2.98 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating, compared to the 0.9 key demo rating and 2.18 million viewers for repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers" on FOX.
9 p.m. - The Bengals-Cardinals action led the 9 p.m. hour for NBC with 6.74 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Unforgettable" averaged 6.38 million viewers for second and tied for third with a 0.9 key demo rating. ABC's "Rising Star" finale also did a 0.9 key demo rating and finished third with 3.25 million viewers. FOX's "Family Guy" and "Bob's Burgers" repeats averaged 2.165 million viewers and finished second with a 1.0 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - NBC's football won the 10 p.m. hour with 5.79 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "Reckless" was second with 4.04 million viewers and third with a 0.5 key demo rating, compared to the 3.27 million viewers and 0.6 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.