ABC dominated the primetime ratings race on Sunday thanks to college football’s Sugar Bowl matchup between Louisiana State and Oklahoma, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. Reliable early numbers are sketchy for the live telecast, but fast-affiliate time-period ratings show that the game averaged roughly an 8.3 rating/19 share among adults 18-49 and 22 million viewers overall.
CBS ran second thanks to a substantial 30-minute boost from an NFL playoff overrun (Denver-Indianapolis) and a good turnout from a repeat “CSI: Miami” at 10 (4.6/11 in adults 18-49, 14.5 million viewers overall).
NBC had a solid night, as “Dateline” matched its best score in 22 months (3.5/9 in adults 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall) and “American Dreams” hits its highest 18-49 rating since premiere week (3.7/9) and its largest overall audience of the season (9.8 million viewers). And at 9, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (4.8/11 in adults 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall) was a strong second to football.
Fox’s firstrun comedy lineup appeared to be significantly affected by the football game, although “The Simpsons” still did well (5.4/13 in adults 18-49, 12.0 million viewers overall). And the WB delivered solid numbers with the network preem of theatrical pic “Bring It On” (1.9/4 in adults 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 6.9/16; CBS, 4.4/11; NBC, 3.9/9; Fox, 3.4/8; WB, 1.5/4.
In total viewers: ABC, 19.6 million; CBS, 14.8 million; NBC, 11.0 million; Fox, 7.9 million; WB, 3.7 million.