'Simpsons,' 'Family' up while ABC's 'Once' hits low

”Sunday Night Football” has helped NBC capture another ratings victory while Fox, which benefited from a huge NFL overrun, saw its comedy block grow sharply. At ABC, recent preemptions may be partly to blame for declines of its ”Once Upon a Time”-led lineup.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Detroit Lions averaged a 6.5 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 16.6 million viewers overall on the NBC stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by more than 10% in the nationals. The game earned an 11.9 household rating/18 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, with the best scores coming from the participating cities: a 56.3/69 in New Orleans and a 26.5/37 in Detroit.

The conclusion of the Green Bay Packers-New York Giants NFL game fueled a huge audience into Fox’s primetime, and ”The Simpsons” benefited by matching or setting season highs in key categories (4.0/10 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall). Also up sharply was ”Allen Gregory” at 8:30 (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), and ”Family Guy” (3.5/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) surged by 25% week to week. At 9:30, ”The Cleveland Show” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) was up 14% over ”American Dad” in the timeslot last week. Overall, Fox had its second best Sunday of the season.

At ABC, ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” did the best it could opposite the big football (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), and ”Once Upon a Time” followed with its lowest scores to date (3.1/7 in 18-49, 9.6 6.0 million viewers overall), down 9% week to week; though it significantly outperformed ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in the timeslot for ABC last year, it has cooled the last two weeks following a Nov. 20 preemption for the ”American Music Awards.” Also down, and returning after a two-week break, were ”Desperate Housewives” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 8.1 6.0 million viewers overall) and ”Pan Am” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 4.7 6.0 million viewers overall).

CBS opened with ”60 Minutes” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 11.9 6.0 million viewers overall), which was the night’s most-watched non-sports program. The newsmag was followed by ”The Amazing Race” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 9.6 6.0 million viewers overall), down a bit from its recent airings, and ”The Good Wife” (1.9/4 in 18-49, 9.8 million viewers overall). Closing out the night was ”CSI: Miami” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), up 16% from its most recent original episode.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.2/13; Fox, 5.1/12; ABC, 2.2/5; CBS, 2.1/5; Univision, 0.8/2.

In total viewers: NBC, 13.7 million; Fox, 12.6 million; CBS, 10.4 million; ABC, 7.1 million; Univision, 2.2 million.

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