TV Ratings: Eagles-Cowboys tilt leads NBC Sunday, while CBS' Kennedy Center Honors dips
CBS and FOX also get NFL bumps
The combination of a traditional rivalry along with Week 17 playoff implications helped NBC get huge numbers for the Sunday Night Football game between the Eagles and Cowboys, leading the network past football-boosted FOX and CBS for the night.
In overnights, the Philadelphia-Dallas showdown stands as the season's third highest rated game, behind two games featuring the Broncos, Peyton Manning's return to Indy and the Pats-Broncos thriller.
Even a sliver of NFL overrun couldn't boost CBS' annual Kennedy Center Honors telecast, which was down from last year's show, which aired on a Wednesday.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 6.5 rating for Sunday night, easily beating FOX's 2.9 rating in the key demographic. CBS was third with a 1.8 key demo rating, while ABC did a 1.1 key demo rating for the night.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 19.23 million viewers and a 10.9 rating/17 share for Sunday primetime. CBS was a distant second with 9.78 million viewers and a 5.9/10, which topped the 8.73 million viewers and 4.8/8 for CBS. ABC was fourth for the night with 4.23 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating.
[NOTE: I've been told that the 7:00 half-hour isn't included in NBC's Sunday official Nielsen ratings. You can figure out the math yourself.]
7 p.m. - FOX started primetime in first with 18.14 million viewers and a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49 for NFL overrun and "The OT." CBS' NFL overrun and "60 Minutes" averaged 15.71 million viewers and a 4.0 key demo rating in second. NBC was third with 7.93 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating for "Football Night in America," while ABC's repeat of "America's Funniest Home Videos" averaged 5.79 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - The start of the Eagles-Cowboys action averaged 21.12 million viewers and a 7.0 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 8 p.m. hour. CBS' "60 Minutes" averaged 9.24 million viewers for second and a 1.5 key demo rating in third, compared to the 5.06 million viewers and 2.0 key demo rating for FOX's repeats of "The Simpsons." ABC's broadcast of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" averaged 3.86 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating in its first hour.
9 p.m. - The second hour of NBC's football rose to 24.72 million viewers and an 8.3 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was second overall with 7.1 million viewers for the Kennedy Center Honors, which finished fourth with a 0.9 key demo rating. ABC's movie averaged 3.78 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, compared to the 3 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for FOX's "Family Guy" and "ADHD" showcase.
10 p.m. - NBC's football closed primetime with 23.14 million viewers and an 8.0 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' Kennedy Center Honors averaged 7.08 million viewers for second and a 0.9 key demo rating for third. ABC's Harry Potter film averaged 3.49 million viewers for third and a 1.1 key demo rating for second for the hour.
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.