Telecast draws big numbers for Alphabet

The American Music Awards telecast drew its best numbers in years on Sunday, helping ABC finish within shouting distance of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” matchup between Philadelphia and Chicago.

Boosted by the popular Taylor Swift and perhaps interest for posthumous awards won by Michael Jackson, the “AMAs” averaged a strong 5.5 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 14.2 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., dominating its non-sports competition on the night. The kudocast was up 8% in 18-49 and 16% in total viewers vs. last year with its best numbers in these categories in five years and seven years, respectively.

And for ABC, which opened the evening with a NASCAR overrun (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and a 30-minute episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), it marked its best Sunday of the season.

Elsewhere, reliable preliminary estimates for “Sunday Night Football” weren’t available, but the game averaged a 5.6/14 in 18-49 and 15.1 million viewers overall on the NBC affiliates from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with the national averages expected to rise by between 5% and 10%. As it has virtually every Sunday this season, NBC is expected to win the night.

CBS benefited from a half-hour NFL overrun, giving a boost to “60 Minutes” (roughly 3.4/9 in 18-49, 15.7 million viewers overall), which started at 7:30 p.m. in much of the country. It was followed by solid numbers for “Amazing Race” (roughly 3.5/8 in 18-49, 11.7 million viewers overall) before the net fell off with dramas “Cold Case” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) and “Three Rivers” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall). In a sked switch with “Cold Case,” “Rivers” was airing as the Eye’s final show of the night for the first time, although it didn’t come on until 10:30 p.m. in the majority of markets.

Fox seemed most affected by the American Music Awards, settling for below-average scores for “The Simpsons” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), “The Cleveland Show” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.8/12; ABC, 4.5/12; CBS, 3.2/8; Fox, 2.7/7; Univision, 1.2/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 12.9 million; CBS, 12.7 million; ABC, 12.1 million; Fox, 5.5 million; Univision, 3.2 million.

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