ESPN grabbed its best “Sunday Night Football” numbers of the season for its down-to-the-wire Pittsburgh Steelers-Jacksonville Jaguars matchup (4.9 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, 11.5 million viewers overall), topping a big night for several cable networks.
Sports cabler edged TNT for the 18-49 crown last week, though the Turner-owned channel delivered a whopping 7 million viewers for its original adventure movie “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.”
The 8 p.m. telepic beat CBS and WB in 18-49 rankings, posting a 2.8/6 in the time period. Movie also posted strong 25-54 numbers (3.3/7) and drew an additional 2. 9 million viewers to the 10 p.m. encore.
“Librarian” ranks as the most-watched movie year-to-date on ad-supported cable; it’s tops in adults 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. Made-for, exec produced by Dean Devlin, stars Noah Wyle as a bookworm called upon to save the world.
Elsewhere Sunday, ABC Family’s airing of Jim Carrey starrer “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” made off with healthy auds (1.2/3, 3.7m). Start of the cabler’s “25 Days of Christmas” holiday marathon vaulted it to the No. 5 spot among basic cable nets in 18-34 and 18-49 last week.
And the spec “Rameses: Wrath of God or Man” nabbed 2.2 million for Discovery Channel at 9 p.m.
VH1 had less luck with its annual kudocast “Big in 04” (0.5/1, 1m), down significantly from last year’s 1.9 million.
On Monday, “The Nanny Reunion: A Nosh to Remember” on Lifetime drew 3.6 million viewers, running only second to the cabler’s most-watched spec “The Golden Girls Reunion” (4.2m). Event was the top-rated cable program in its time period in women 18-34 and 18-49.
(Rick Kissell contributed to this report.)