NBC takes night again; Fox's special 'X Factor' second

A lopsided ”Sunday Night Football” contest on NBC was still easily Sunday’s top-rated primetime program, with Fox’s special off-night episode of ”The X Factor” running second. After descending sharply last week, ABC’s ”Pan Am” was down just slightly week-to-week this time around.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC’s stations averaged a 5.7 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 14.5 million viewers overall for ”Sunday Night Football” from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with the game expected to move above a 6 demo rating and 15 million total viewers in the final nationals. The Chicago Bears took a 16-0 lead after the first quarter on their way to a 39-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

In Nielsen’s metered markets, the game earned an 11.2 overnight household rating/17 share, doing a 32.5/46 in Chicago and a 31.4/46 in Minneapolis. In addition to the lopsided result, NBC likely lost some Midwest viewers to Game 6 of baseball’s National League Championship Series between St. Louis and Milwaukee on TBS.

Elsewhere, Fox benefited from an NFL overrun and postgame show ”The OT,” which led into a special installment of midweek reality series ”The X Factor” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 8.7 million viewers overall), airing on the night because it was preempted once last week by a long-running baseball playoff game. While below the show’s early-season average, ”Factor” made Fox the top-rated entertainment network among adults 18-49 and 25-54 (3.8/8) from 8 to 10.

CBS aired its regular lineup of ”60 Minutes” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), ”The Amazing Race” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), ”The Good Wife” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall) and ”CSI: Miami” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall). ”60 Minutes” drew more total viewers than any non-football program on Sunday, and ”CSI: Miami” easily defeated its drama competition, ABC’s ”Pan Am,” and was up from last week when it didn’t come on the air in much of the country until after 10:30.

ABC’s Sunday continues to droop, but could get some help next week with the series debut of ”Once Upon a Time” in the 8 o’clock slot. Last night, ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and ”Desperate Housewives” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) were all in line with their demo scores from the previous week. Similarly at 10 p.m., ”Pan Am” appeared to stabilize in its fourth airing, , down a tick week to week but off about 30% from its solid week-two delivery (2.6/6).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.8/12; Fox, 4.4/11; CBS, 2.2/5; ABC, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 12.3 million; Fox, 11.6 million; CBS, 10.2 million; ABC, 6.9 million; Univision, 2.8 million.

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