TV Ratings: 'Grammy Salute to the Beatles' is big, but can't match Olympics on Sunday
Competitive 9 p.m. hour also included 'Walking Dead,' with ratings to come
CBS got a pretty huge overall audience for "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles," but that audience skewed old and couldn't match NBC's Sunday Olympics coverage from Sochi in any measure.
The Sunday Olympics coverage, which featured downhill skiing and a wide range of figure skating, was in line with Saturday's audience overall and rose from Saturday in the key demo.
Given the 40+ million viewers watching NBC and CBS in the 9 p.m. hour on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if AMC's "Walking Dead" return was impacted at all, or if the three networks were wooing three entirely separate audiences. I suspect the latter and we'll post on the zombie ratings when they become available. [PBS and HBO are less likely to provide the ratings for "Downton Abbey" and "True Detective," but there was definitely a lot of TV to watch in the 9 p.m. hour.]
For now on to ratings...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 6.9 rating for Sunday night, topping (but not quite doubling) the combined key demographic averages for CBS (1.7 rating), plus ABC and NBC (both at a 1.0 key demo).
Overall, NBC averaged 25.42 million viewers for Sunday primetime along with a 14.0 rating/21 share. CBS was a distant second with 11.64 million viewers and a 7.0/11, which was far ahead of ABC's 2.1/3 and 3.67 million viewers and FOX's 1.4/2 and 2.24 million.
7 p.m. - NBC's Olympics coverage started primetime in first with 22.53 million viewers and a 5.7 rating among adults 18-49 for the 7 p.m. hour. CBS was second with 9.47 million viewers and third with a 1.2 key demo rating for "60 Minutes," compared to the 5.35 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" repeat. FOX's repeats of "Bob's Burgers" and "Family Guy" averaged 1.48 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - Coverage from Sochi rose to 29.28 million viewers and a 7.9 rating among adults 18-49 in the 8 p.m. hour for NBC. CBS' "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" drew an impressive 13.35 million viewers and a less impressive 1.9 key demo rating for second on the hour. ABC's airing of "Toy Story 3" averaged 3.26 million viewers for third and a 1.0 key demo rating for fourth, compared to the 2.56 million viewers and 1.2 key demo rating averaged by repeats of "The Simpsons" and "Bob's Burgers" on FOX.
9 p.m. - Perhaps impacted by the influx of strong cable options (but perhaps not in any way impacted by that), the Olympics slipped to 26.18 million viewers and a 7.4 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" actually rose to 14.13 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating. ABC's movie averaged 3.05 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, again compared to the 2.69 million and 1.3 key demo rating for repeats of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" on FOX.
10 p.m. - NBC's Olympics broadcast averaged 23.7 million viewers and a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49 to close out its primetime sweep. CBS was second with the concluding half-hour of "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" (14.785 million and a 2.4 key demo) and a repeat of "The Millers" (4.435 million and a 0.8 key demo). ABC's "Castle" repeat averaged 3.03 million viewers and a 0.7 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.