After football on CBS, NBC's awards show rules

Ricky Gervais’ forked tongue was no match for the Jets-Patriots game, but the Golden Globes still drew a crowd Sunday, with ratings that were in line with last year’s show.

NBC’s kudocast, the first glitzy major award show of the year, figures to again rank No. 3 in viewership of kudocasts — behind the Oscars and Grammys but ahead of the Primetime Emmys, Tonys, American Music Awards, CMAs and others.

According to preliminary estimates from Nielsen, the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards averaged a 5.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 17.0 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m. — down slightly in the demo vs. last year (5.2 vs. 5.5) and up a smidge in total viewers (17.0 million vs. 16.9 million). By comparison, CBS’ coverage of the New York Jets-New England Patriots playoff contest at its peak drew more than 52 million viewers.

The biz was still buzzing Monday about host Gervais’ caustic comments from the stage, as the debate raged in the Twitterverse and blogosphere as to whether he went too far with some of his barbs aimed at industry figures — including some of those who were in the aud at the Hilton.

Excluding the Academy Awards on ABC last March, the Globes matched the best nonsports 18-49 score for any network in the Sunday time period since last year’s Golden Globes.

And in total viewers, this year’s Golden Globes should stand as the most-watched since 2007, which drew a little more than 20 million.

The most recent edition of the Academy Awards on ABC averaged 41.7 million, while the Grammys on CBS drew 25.9 million, and the Country Music Assn. Awards on ABC corralled 16.5 million. In demos, the 5.2 rating for the Globes on Sunday lags behind the most recent telecast of the Oscars (13.3) and Grammys (9.9), but tops the CMAs (4.7) and Primetime Emmys (4.1).

This was the second year NBC aired the Golden Globes live (8 p.m. ET and 5 PT) across the country. And while the net couldn’t provide market breakdowns Monday, it’s believed West Coast cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, which saw an 8 p.m. replay, again generated some of the top scores nationwide.

Elsewhere in primetime Sunday, CBS averaged more than 40 million viewers in the night’s opening hour with the conclusion and postgame coverage of the NFL Divisional Playoff game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots, with the game’s final portion (7:30-7:48 p.m. ET) topping 52 million viewers.

For the entire game (4:45-7:45 p.m. ET), the Jets’ 28-21 upset victory averaged a whopping 43.5 million viewers — up 22% over last year’s comparable Jets-San Diego Chargers contest (35.6 million) and the largest audience ever for a Divisional Playoff game; previous high had been the 42.7 million for Dallas-Carolina on Fox in January 1997.

The football action was followed on CBS by “60 Minutes” at a special later time in most of the country (roughly a 4.1/10 in 18-49, 17.3 million viewers overall), “Undercover Boss” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 13.3 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Miami” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall). “60 Minutes” could wind up as the night’s No. 1 nonsports telecast in total viewers.

Fox and ABC went with their regular lineups, producing lower-than-usual numbers.

At Fox, “The Simpsons” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) was followed by the second week of “Bob’s Burgers” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall).

Sophomore segment of “Bob’s” fell off sharply, as expected, from its premiere episode, which came on a night when Fox enjoyed a big football push into primetime.

The net then logged its best score of the night at 9 p.m. with “Family Guy” (3.7/9 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) before falling back at 9:30 p.m. with “The Cleveland Show” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall).

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