ABC's fairytale drama rises again; NBC wins night

Football has dominated another Sunday’s ratings race, with CBS scoring big early with its afternoon game overrun and NBC rolling late with “Sunday Night Football.” Aside from football, CBS’ “60 Minutes” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” were standouts.

Preliminary estimates for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” are subject to revision, but the Dallas Cowboys-Atlanta Falcons matchup averaged a 7.3 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 18.7 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m. — with the game expected to move above 20 million viewers in the nationals. Based on overnight ratings (a 14.6 household rating/23 share), the Falcons’ 19-13 victory should stand as the No. 3-rated “SNF” game of the season.

As it has every Sunday this fall, NBC will win the night with ease in all categories.

At CBS, the end of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants figures to come in with about 30 million viewers in the 7 o’clock half hour. That provided a strong lead-in for “60 Minutes” (3.8 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 16.7 million viewers overall), which was the night’s top non-sports program; featuring a segment on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the venerable newsmag was able to retain a big chunk of its lead-in.

From there, “The Amazing Race” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) were in line with recent outings, and “The Mentalist” was a bit above average (1.9/5 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall).

ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) seemed to benefit from the start of daylight savings time, rising to a season high, and “Once Upon a Time” edged up again (3.5/8 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall) for its best numbers since its season premiere. The fairytale drama was the night’s top scripted broadcast program in key demos as well as total viewers.

From 9 to 11 p.m., both “Revenge” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and “666 Park Avenue” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) dropped off a bit, with the latter appearing to be on shaky ground unless it can turn things around.

At Fox, the net’s comedies returned after a three-week baseball-induced hiatus with “The Cleveland Show” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and “The Simpsons” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) down about 15% from their most recent originals. And dropping off by more than 20% from four weeks ago were “Bob’s Burgers” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (1.9/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 6.1/15; CBS, 3.3/8; ABC, 2.3/6; Fox, 2.0/5; Univision, 1.1/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 15.9 million; CBS, 13.7 million; ABC, 7.2 million; Fox, 4.4 million; Univision, 2.9 million.

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