NBC won the Sunday night primetime race with a combination of pregame show “Football Night in America” and a high-scoring win for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the San Diego Chargers. Fox’s animation lineup performed well once again but news was not good for the premiere of CBS medical drama “Three Rivers,” which arrived DOA and was hammered by both football and “Desperate Housewives.”
As is typical on a Sunday, the game was No. 1 (6.2 rating/15 share, 15.1 million viewers, though those numbers are approximate based on fast affiliate ratings and may change) and delivered what is typically the Peacock’s only win for the week.
CBS was handed a fourth-place finish with an 8 p.m. “Amazing Race” (2.8/7, 9.9 million) that fell nearly 20% from its week-ago premiere and a 10 p.m. “Cold Case” (2.2/6, 9.6 million). Both were defeated by all timeslot competitors, though “Cold Case” did improve marginally on its premiere from a week ago. Eye found no silver lining, however, for Alex O’Loughlin-starrer “Three Rivers,” which could only muster a 2.0/5, 9.1 million and may be in trouble.
“Desperate Housewives” (4.9/11, 14.2 million) saw a slight uptick from a disappointing start a week ago and was the highest-rated and most-watched non-sports program of the evening. Following “Housewives,” “Brothers and Sisters” (3.2/8, 9.6 million) was also slightly above its premiere last Sunday.
On Fox, “Family Guy” (4.9/11, 9.6 million) was best of the net’s strong animated lineup. “The Cleveland Show” (4.2/10, 8.7 million) came down from its 4.9/12 from a week ago but looks to be a solid longtime player.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.2/13; Fox, 4.8/12; ABC, 3.4/9; CBS, 2.3/6; Univision, 0.8/2.
In total viewers: NBC, 13.1 million; Fox, 10.7 million; ABC, 10.8 million; CBS, 10.4 million; Univision, 2.2 million.