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Football rolls, ‘Race’ finale down Sunday

Fox toon vets strong; ABC holiday movie does OK

ABC saw improved numbers for its Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise on Sunday but the movie “Christmas with Holly” was no match for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” which dominated the ratings action as usual. Also, the season finale of “The Amazing Race” was well down from last year for CBS.

The game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers averaged a 6.9 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 and 18.9 million viewers overall on the NBC stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen, with the final numbers expected to be revised upward by 10% or more. In the metered markets, the Packers’ 27-20 victory earned a 13.6 household rating/21 share, in line with the previous two weeks when the games ended up drawing more than 20 million viewers.

Elsewhere, Fox ran second in demos thanks to an NFL overrun that helped lift anchor comedies “The Simpsons” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (2.8/7 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), which had aired repeats last week; they were the night’s top two entertainment series among young adults. Also up from last week, when they ran originals, were “Bob’s Burgers” at 8:30 (2.1/5 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” at 9:30 (2.2/5 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall). At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) was the top non-sports program in Sunday’s opening hour and the most-watched non-sports series of the evening. It was followed by the finale of the 21st edition of “The Amazing Race” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), which was down 20% from its fall 2011 finale (which was on a night when CBS had a strong NFL overrun), and drama “The Mentalist” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall).

ABC was well behind its rivals, with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” down week to week (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall). The net rested its dramas on the night, but kept the lights on with repeat specials “Disney’s Prep & Landing” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and “Prep & Landing 2: Naught vs. Nice” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and the original Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Christmas with Holly” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall). The pic, starring Sean Faris, delivered the best ratings among the four HHOF movies to air since the franchise moved from CBS to ABC.

Univision aired a 90-minute special on the life of Jenni Rivera (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) followed by a special 90-minute edition of newsmagazine “Sal y Pimienta” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), which was also devoted to the Mexican-American singing and television star who died over the weekend.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.7/14; Fox, 3.5/9; CBS, 2.2/5; ABC, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.4/3.

In total viewers: NBC, 15.9 million; CBS, 9.6 million; Fox, 8.5 million; ABC, 6.7 million; Univision, 3.4 million.

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