TV Ratings: NBC's Patriots-Broncos thriller tops ABC's American Music Awards on Sunday
'The Mentalist' gets a big Red John bump
While the New England Patriots didn't complete their epic comeback over the Denver Broncos until well outside of primetime on the East Coast, the frigid thriller still delivered a second straight week of huge numbers to NBC, even if it came in below the Broncos/Chiefs tilt from the previous week.
Perhaps some of those viewers were siphoned off by the American Music Awards, which did strong numbers on ABC, pushing that network into a tie for second among young viewers with football-boosted FOX. It was the biggest AMAs audience since 2009, up 36 percent in total viewers and 32 percent in the key demo over last year.
Meanwhile, the climactic episode in the Red John arc delivered a view bump to CBS' "The Mentalist," even if the procedural finished last for its hour. It was the biggest "Mentalist" audience January.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 7.0 rating for Sunday night, easily winning the key demographic. ABC and FOX both averaged a 3.7 key demo rating for the night, while CBS lagged in fourth with a 1.5 key demo rating.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 19.61 million viewers and an 11.3 rating/17 share for Sunday primetime, well ahead of the 11.37 million viewers and 6.6/10 for ABC. CBS moved up to third with a 6.2/9 and 9.78 million viewers, nipping the 9.77 million viewers and 5.7/8 for FOX for the night.
7 p.m. - FOX started the night in first with 19.8 million viewers and a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49 for NFL overrun and postgame in the 7 p.m. hour. CBS' "60 Minutes" averaged 11.03 million viewers for second and finished third with a 1.6 key demo rating. NBC's "Football Night in America" was third with 9.07 million viewers and second with a 3.1 key demo rating. ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" averaged 6.69 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating.
8 p.m. - NBC stormed into first with 22.815 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49 for the start of the Broncos-Patriots game. ABC's American Music Awards telecast averaged 12.87 million viewers and a 4.2 key demo rating for second. CBS was a distant third with 7.985 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating for "The Amazing Race." FOX was third in the key demo and fourth overall with "The Simpsons" (6.65 million and a 2.9 key demo) and "Bob's Burgers" (4.02 million and a 1.9 key demo).
9 p.m. - Football action rose to 25.86 million viewers and a 9.3 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. ABC's award show was up to 13.07 million viewers and a 4.5 key demo rating. There was a big drop to the 9.5 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for CBS' "The Good Wife." FOX stayed fourth overall and third among young viewers with "Family Guy" (4.51 million and a 2.2 key demo) and "American Dad" (3.81 million and a 1.8 key demo).
10 p.m. - The Broncos-Patriots game slipped a hair to 20.71 million viewers and an 8.0 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. ABC's AMA coverage averaged 12.85 million viewers and a 4.6 key demo rating for a solid second. "The Mentalist" averaged 10.62 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating for a pivotal episode.
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.