CBS dominates early with overrun, NBC finishes strong

Football on CBS and then NBC won each half-hour of Sunday primetime in key demos, but ABC’s drama trio of “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge” and “666 Park Avenue” showed gains.

Numbers for sports are always subject to revision due to time zone differences, but NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals averaged a 6.0 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 15.6 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., winning each half-hour with ease. This is on the low end of the “SNF” franchise but it’s one of its best ever opposite coverage of baseball’s League Championship Series.

Fox’s Game 6 of the National League Championship Series averaged a 1.7/4 in adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from roughly 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., with this number expected to rise some in the nationals. The seventh and deciding game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants airs tonight on Fox opposite the third and final presidential debate on ABC, CBS and NBC.

CBS had a huge opening hour — drawing an estimated audience of more than 25 million viewers — thanks to the exciting conclusions of a pair of overtime games (Jets-Patriots and Jaguars-Raiders), each of which extended more than 50 minutes into primetime. Ratings for the rest of the night are murky, with “60 Minutes” (3.5/9 in 18-49, 14.8 million viewers overall) airing in the 8 o’clock hour in much of the country, and “The Amazing Race” playing at 9 (2.3/5 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall). That pushed “The Good Wife” to about 10 p.m. (1.9/5 in 18-49, 10.0 million viewers overall), with “The Mentalist” (no reliable prelim numbers) not concluding until nearly midnight in the East.

At ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) was in line with last week, while “Once Upon a Time” (3.3/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), “Revenge” (2.8/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall) and “666 Park Avenue” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) all were up a couple of ticks week to week. This is the best score since its season premiere for both “Revenge” and “666,” though the latter could be adjusted down to a 1.7, which would match its week-two score.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.8/12; CBS, 3.8/10; ABC, 2.3/6; Fox, 1.7/4; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.5 million; NBC, 12.8 million; ABC, 7.3 million; Fox, 5.6 million; Univision, 2.8 million.

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