'Sunday Night Football' wins over '24,' AMAs

Jack Bauer’s return to primetime after an 18-month absence drew a big crowd, but not quite big enough for Fox’s telepic “24: Redemption” to knock off ABC’s telecast of the American Music Awards.

And both programs were topped by NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” bout between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers.

The 8-10 p.m. airing of “Redemption” averaged a 4.0 rating/9 share in the adults 18-49 demo and 12 million viewers, an uptick from “24’s” sixth-season finale in May 2007 (3.9/10, 10.4m), according to prelim Nielsens. The turnout was solid, given the competish, but not the rush that might’ve been expected from starved “24” fans, especially with a half-hour football overrun injecting nearly 18 million viewers into the start of primetime for Fox.

ABC’s 8-11 p.m. telecast of the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted AMAs was up a few ticks from kudocast’s perf last year, averaging 5.1/12 in 18-49 (compared with last year’s 4.8/12) and 12.2 million viewers. ABC noted that it was the show’s highest marks in four years — live perfs by Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers probably didn’t hurt. AMAs’ biggest year-to-year demo spike came in the Kimmel-friendly men 18-34 demo (3.4/9, up 31%).

Reliable estimates for the Peacock’s live football coverage won’t be available until today, but in Nielsen’s overnight metered markets the 8:30-11:30 p.m. game topped the primetime competish with a 10.8 household rating and 17 share.

CBS’ regular Sunday sked was overshadowed by the extraordinary competish and the pigskin action. Eye’s best number of the night came from the resurgent “60 Minutes” (2.7/7, 14.5m).

With the football overrun and “Redemption,” Fox was poised to win the night with an average of 4.6/11 in 18-49 and 13.1 million viewers.

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