Morning Ratings Flash - Rick Kissell

NBC dominated the primetime ratings wars Sunday, as the Golden Globes kudocast drew its largest-ever audience on the network, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, and topped its combined major-network competish in key demos.

From 8 to 11, the “61st Annual Golden Globe Awards” averaged a 9.9/23 in adults 18-49, matching a five-year high, and roughly 26.7 million viewers overall – the biggest turnout since NBC began carrying the event in 1995. It was up nicely over last year (7.8/17 in 18-49, 20.1 million viewers) when it opposed the AFC Championship football game on CBS.

Over the past year, this makes the Globes the No. 3 awards show in adults 18-49, behind only the Academy Awards (12.5) and Grammy Awards (11.3). And in total viewers, it ranks behind only the Academy Awards (33.0 million).

CBS edged out Fox for a distant second-place finish in adults 18-49, receiving a solid perf from “Cold Case” at 8 (3.9/9 in adults 18-49, 15.6 million viewers) and a repeat of movie “Deep Impact” (3.7/9 in adults 18-49, 11.0 million viewers).

Fox was paced by original episodes of “The Simpsons” (4.9/11 in adults 18-49, 10.6 million viewers) and “Malcolm in the Middle” (3.8/8 in adults 18-49, 8.8 million viewers), both of which ran second in 18-49 in their slots.

ABC did pretty well at 7 with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (3.3/9 in adults 18-49, 9.5 million viewers) but was weighed down by a repeat of “Alias” (1.6/4 in adults 18-49, 4.5 million viewers).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 8.5/20; CBS, 3.5/8; Fox, 3.4/8; ABC, 2.4/6; WB, 1.6/4.

In total viewers: NBC, 23.3 million; CBS, 13.3 million; Fox, 7.6 million; ABC, 6.8 million; WB, 3.6 million.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more